On Tuesday Portugal’s RTP firmly pulled Eurofans into the Eurovision 2018 orbit with the official announcement that Lisbon will host the contest next May.
Bernardo — our Portugal correspondent — grabbed a front-row seat for all of the action. If you missed his Facebook Live coverage, you can watch it here.
Since then, many of you have written to us asking whether the homage to water seen in various signage hints at the official slogan and theme for Eurovision 2018. Still others have asked about the location of MEO Arena and whether there’s anything to do in the surrounding area.
So today Bernardo — who is on his way to Zhara Fest in Baku — stopped by William’s house in London for a quick catch-up in front of the camera.
Among other things, they talk about how far ahead of schedule RTP seems to be.
Last year, Eurovision fans endured months of speculation, weeks of bidding, one nationally-broadcast presentation show, a delayed decision process, a cancelled announcement and a few mud-slinging sessions between politicians before Ukraine revealed its host city decision.
Ukrainian officials did so on September 9. Portugal’s team managed to announce on July 25 — about six weeks earlier.
The city council has secured access to the stunning Praça do Comércio — also known as Commerce Square — for ten days in May.
The large, rectangular square is shaped like a U and opens out onto the Tagus River — the lifeblood of the city.
Once home to a royal palace, which sadly burned to the ground, it was remodelled in the late 1700s. It has witnessed its share of history — including the assassination of Carlos I, one of Portugal’s last kings.
It’s exact use during Eurovision has not been confirmed. But if we had to guess we’d say it will host either the Eurovision 2018 red carpet ahead of the Opening Ceremony or Eurovision Village.