BBC Sets Eurovision 2020 Replacement Schedule


The BBC has unveiled a new schedule featuring Eurovision content across TV, radio and online in celebration of the music competition, which will not be taking place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The updated slate includes a night of special programs celebrating this year’s contest on BBC One, a revisit of classic moments on BBC Two and a host of specially-themed programs from the archives on BBC Radio 2. Graham Norton, Ken Bruce, Rylan Clark-Neal and more will be taking part in the specials.

The one-off special from BBC Studios Eurovision: Come Together, hosted by Norton, will give U.K. viewers the opportunity to take part in a live vote to crown their favorite Eurovision performance from a shortlist compiled by experts and celebrity super fans. Graham will also chat with James Newman, the performer who was due to fly the U.K. flag in the Netherlands in 2020, during the show that will air on BBC One on May 16. Following Eurovision: Come Together, BBC One will be broadcasting Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, which will honor all 41 songs that would have competed in the 2020 contest but in a non-competitive format.

On BBC Two, The A-Z Of Eurovision will see Clark-Neal narrate a guide to all things Eurovision in a compilation of highlights from the singing contest—from the disasters and costume changes to the most memorable musical moments from its 65 years. It will air at 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. Also set for BBC Two is TOTP2 Goes Eurovision!, in which Steve Wright will introduce a Eurovision-themed edition of the show featuring archive songs by stars of the competition.

Eurovision At 60, first shown to celebrate the Eurovision Song Contest’s 60th anniversary in 2015, is set for BBC Four. It features interviews with Graham Norton, Conchita Wurst, Sir Terry Wogan and others. Dana: The Original Derry Girl on BBC One Northern Ireland will take a look back at the 18-year-old schoolgirl who headed off to Amsterdam to represent Ireland in the 15th Eurovision Song Contest.

BBC Radio 1’s Eurovision 2020: The Cancelled Coronavirus Year (working title) is an exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary that began filming back in February before it was revealed that the 2020 Eurovision song contest in Rotterdam was canceled due to the pandemic. It follows James Newman as he prepares to be unveiled as the U.K.’s Eurovision representative. BBC Radio 2 will be bringing the spirit of Eurovision to listeners with a series of themed broadcasts, with all of its programs also available on BBC Sounds.

Norton said: “Eurovision offers a real escapism for people, which is something we need more than ever throughout these times. This year people at home can celebrate the amazing spirit of the event and hopefully get the chance to take their mind off the current situation for a few hours.”

Bruce said: “It’s Virtual Eurovision! On Radio 2, I’ll be playing tracks from Eurovision 2020 featuring some of the best of this year’s entries which sadly won’t get to take part in the final. And I’ll also be hearing from previous years’ stars—past winners reminiscing about their memories of the Greatest MusicFest in the world!”

Clark-Neal said: “It’s so sad that Eurovision 2020 had to be canceled, but it’s understandable and it doesn’t mean we can’t still escape to the Eurovision bubble. We’re so excited to be bringing Eurovision content to Saturday, May 16 to keep up the tradition of many years of this amazing event. I’m thrilled to be fronting The A-Z Of Eurovision and Eurovision Kings and Queens of Pop and looking forward to leaving the current situation behind for a night of pure Eurovision gold!”