Hej, Ukraine. The team behind Eurovision 2017 is going international, with this morning’s announcement that Christer Björkman will be part of the organising team. Björkman’s appointment comes as a number of other roles for the show have been filled, following last week’s resignation fiasco.
Watch: Christer Björkman joins organising team
Christer is hardly someone that needs introducing to most Eurovision fans. For those of y’all who still don’t know who he is, Björkman has successfully run Sweden’s Melodifestivalen for over a decade, whilst also producing Eurovision 2013 and 2016.
Björkman takes on the same contest producer role he had at Eurovision 2016. This means he’ll be in charge of the look of each act’s production on stage. In an interview with SVT, Christer says he’s not after a “Swedish takeover” of the show. Instead, he wants to help Ukraine host with pride. “We are a number of experts who have done this before and really want to help Ukraine to achieve results.”
Bringing on such an experienced name no doubt helps Ukraine’s preparations. It may also help calm some of the bad press they’ve had since last week’s mass resignations.
The global press — including the New York Times — picked up on the departure of Oleksandr Kharebin, Victoria Romanova and 19 others from the organising team. Obviously, it wasn’t the look that NTU wanted to put out to the world.
NTU have acted quickly in establishing their new team. The top names include Larysa Koval, Oleh Zapadniuk and Kyrylo Voronin. This new team has, between them, worked on events including Eurovision 2005, Junior Eurovision 2009 and Euro 2012. With this established team, it looks like Ukraine could once again be well on their way to a successful show.
The broadcaster insists that preparations are on schedule, despite claims that no work has been achieved in two months. With Björkman now in the team, we’re sure a lot of those fears will be put aside.