He’s the father of modern Melodifestivalen and the man attributed with helping to make Sweden a power nation of Eurovision. Now Christer Björkman has revealed that he will step down as Melfest boss. He has signed on for only four more years, with Melodifestivalen 2021 set to be his last.

SVT reports that Björkman told the postcast Schlager-Micke and his Friends that he has decided to quit as the producer of Melfest. “After this year, I will continue for another four years. Then I’m finished,” he revealed.

While his successor has not been appointed, Björkman already has someone in mind: Karin Gunnarsson. The experienced radio P3 staffer has worked alongside Björkman as the associate producer of the contest and this year was the chairperson of the Melfest selection jury.

Björkman says, “She has potential, she understands the format, the scope and especially knows hit music. She has an established respect of the players, the record companies.”

But he notes that ultimately it is up to Karin whether she wants to take on the Melfest role.

The Björkman years

Björkman’s departure in 2021 will mark 20 years at Melodifestivalen. He first joined the Melfest team in 2002. There he was responsible for transforming the show from a one-night national final to a multi-week event using four semi-finals and later a second chance round.

He has never been afraid to tweak the Melfest formula. After Anna Bergendahl failed to qualify for the final of Eurovision 2010, Björkman scrapped the regional Swedish juries and introduced international juries.

On his watch, Sweden has won Eurovision twice, and placed in the top three a further two times. It’s long been known that Björkman is intent on securing another win for Sweden, to match Ireland’s record of seven wins. The pressure will be on to achieve that win before he departs.

Björkman is currently working on his autobiography, which has the working title of Regnbågsdiktatorn (The Rainbow Dictator).

READ MORE SWEDEN EUROVISION NEWS

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YAAAS
YAAAS
4 years ago

I will miss him. He’s the reason I love this whole thing, he made the modern Melodifestivalen great and he did make us win 2 times in 3 years (maybe more, who knows) and helped produce what I think is one of the best Eurovisions ever. It’s kinda amazing what a loser like Anna Bergendahl can do to a competition.

Jonas
Jonas
4 years ago

Oops Zack, you’re right. Still, for records to actually mean anything, we have to include every contest. You can’t just arbitrarily pick a starting point that suits you. For the record, I’d be very happy if Sweden did indeed break Ireland’s record. They deserve it, at least until Ireland up their game.

Zack
Zack
4 years ago

@ Jonas, If we include the last 20 years that means Sweden won with wins in (1999, 2012, 2015). Which makes them since Ireland in the 90s a force in Eurovision.

Jonas
Jonas
4 years ago

Robyn, what he said doesn’t really make sense. A win is a win. The “records” start in 1956. Why would ABBA’s 1974 victory count in Sweden’s tally but not Johnny Logan in 1987 for Ireland? If he only wants to count the last twenty years, then Sweden are already tied for most wins with Ukraine (2) – but that’s no fun, is it?

Also, why would recency gain more brownie points than an unprecedented three-in-a-row? Beat that, Christer.

Stian F
Stian F
4 years ago

Christer Bjørkman has upped the game for all of the Nordic countries at least 🙂 Nordic entries are better then ever after having copied his formula for their respective national finals. Also – Swedish has become equal to success and thats also probably why many Swedish Composers get to participate in so many other national finals as well. I hope Sweden manages to keep the high standards in their selections also after he leaves 🙂

DJ Tiggeh
DJ Tiggeh
4 years ago

So shortly after Eurovision 2021 he will be named as the EBU head scrutineer for Eurovision.

Denis
Denis
4 years ago

I will miss him, I will. I think every country needs it’s own Christer Björkman, someone who takes the contest seriously(perhaps to seriously).
Good thing he won’t quite soon!

As I said before, Sweden will get it’s seventh win before 2020 if we continue by this rate.

PP
PP
4 years ago

From 2017 to 2021 Sweden must win 2 time to break Ireland record .I predict Sweden wili win in 2017 and in 2020 thank to juries.

eurovision6
eurovision6
4 years ago

As a swede im glad but we will prob replace him with someone even worse..

mad-professor
mad-professor
4 years ago

Finally.

Unofficial Månsters Association
Unofficial Månsters Association
4 years ago

Three words: I’ll miss him. 🙁

Charles
Charles
4 years ago

Winning Eurovision is not about Christer himself … it’s about that ONE damn song that makes the whole difference for whatever reason (ask Loreen) … so pretty sure Sweden will eventually win again even after this Simon Cowell-wannabe leaves … and hopefully he has managed to surpass his own embarrassing outcome in 1992 with what I still call the most boring song Sweden has ever sent to Eurovision (and yes far more boring than their own Beatles homage in 1977) with his overwhelming desire to control the whole thing as if he was Jon Ola Sand. Someone needs to tell… Read more »

D
D
4 years ago

Hallelujah

Jonas
Jonas
4 years ago

That should read : two wins out of five attempts…

I really have to start proof-reading before I hit “post comment”.

I’m sure he’d love a win on home ground too. Maybe if he doesn’t break the record, or comes tantalisingly close, he might re-consider and sign an extension. Eurovision is a drug, I think we all know that.

Jonas
Jonas
4 years ago

I think he’d rather break Ireland’s record than match it, which means he needs two wins out five attempts. I wouldn’t put it past him!

He will be missed.