Noel Curran EBU Director General 2017 Eimear Quinn Eurovision 1996

He was the last person to head up a victorious Irish delegation at Eurovision and now he’s set to take the top job at the European Broadcasting Union. On Monday 29 May, the EBU formally announced that Noel Curran will take over the role of EBU Director General from Ingrid Deltenre in September.

Curran — husband of Eurovision 1996 winner Eimear Quinn — has spent much of his career with Ireland’s national broadcaster RTÉ, most recently holding the position of director general from 2010 to 2016. He was heavily involved with the station’s Eurovision efforts throughout the 1990s, acting as head of delegation on several occasions, including in 1996 when he met his future wife-to-be. He took on the position of Executive Producer when Ireland hosted in 1997.

While the EBU is best known for organising Eurovision, the Irishman won’t be directly involved with the day-to-day running of the contest — that’s still Jon Ola Sand’s responsibility. He’ll be kept busy managing the organisation itself, which is an alliance of public-service media organisations with 73 members in 56 European countries and an additional 34 associates. It also negotiates for sports rights on behalf of members and lobbies to promote and protect public-media funding and freedoms.

However, like his predecessor, he’s likely to dip in and out of the contest as needs dictate. Ingrid Deltenre was one of the key players in the dramas which arose surrounding Romania’s expulsion in 2016 and the Russia/Ukraine dispute in 2017.

Speaking in the official press release, President of the EBU Jean-Paul Philippot says:

“We are delighted to welcome Noel Curran as the new Director General of the EBU. Noel was the candidate of choice in what was an extremely strong list of candidates. He impressed us with his sound public service values, his operational experience and his understanding of the public service media ecosystem within today’s rapidly evolving media environment. His leadership experience as Director General of RTÉ will be invaluable as the EBU moves towards the next chapter in its history. I am confident he will do a very good job for the EBU, for all our Members, and for public service media.”

For his part, Curran adds

“There is now, more than ever, a compelling case for what public service media does, and what the Members of the European Broadcasting Union do, day in, day out. The EBU represents some of the finest media organizations, content-makers and journalists in the world. The position of DG is a huge honour, and I will work with the membership to seize every opportunity and to move ahead with the changes necessary to secure the future of public service media. I look forward to working with Jean-Paul, with the EBU team and with our Members, from all regions in the EBU, to serve our audiences’ needs.”

Noel Curran and Eimear Quinn

Eimear Quinn famously took the Eurovision trophy back to Ireland in 1996, beating the likes of Britain’s Gina G and Norway’s Elisabeth Andreassen. “The Voice” brought an end to a remarkable period of Irish success at the contest when the island nation won four times in five years.

The country has failed to win since, and recently saw its present non-qualification streak extend to four years.

As for Eimear and Noel, the ethereal songstress claims in a 2006 interview that it was basically love at first sight.

“It was a pretty instant thing… I thought he was amazing.”

Curran first met Eimear’s parents on the night of the final, and three weeks later he was reintroduced to them as her boyfriend.

“So the best thing in the world for me came out of the Eurovision, really. There’s winning and there’s winning!”

The pair have since married and are parents to two daughters.

Follow all our Ireland Eurovision 2018 news.

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Sash Animenkos
Guest
Sash Animenkos

Maybe it’s good that this guy will become EBU Director General.
Because his predecessor’s decisions and statements (hello Mrs Deltenre) were very controversial.

James
Guest
James

Odds on Christer Björkman being the new Executive Supervisor of Eurovision Song Contest?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Look at the odds of the end of the contest, they’re the same

Adrian
Guest
Adrian

The last executive supervisor is also from Sweden, and he is involved in Melodifestivalen too, so I don’t think EBU will want to appoint a man with the same background yet again.

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

Whenever Björkman gets this question he says he would never want that job. “It’s boring.” He wants to be involved in the creative aspect of producing the content.
He’s expressed interest in helping other countries develop their national finals, so there is what I suspect we will see him.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I hope Mr. Curran remembers about the 2014 semi-final results where Ireland was a televote qualifier and decides to remove the demonic juries.

Henning
Guest
Henning

Shut up.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I’m not taking advice from you, henny.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Henning: Aye.

@PG: No. The 50/50 balance must be maintained. The results of this year’s contest demonstrate that there is misery to be found on both halves of the scorecard. Without one or the other (jury or televote), MORE good songs (Denmark, for sure) might have been left behind in the semis, even after losing a few because of one or the other.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Denmark’s song was a bland screamfest. The public wasn’t here for it at all. Same for Austria, all out of tune. The juries are USELESS: they’re members of the general public who vote mainly based on their taste or other bias (the countries). We don’t need them.

Per Zoso
Guest
Per Zoso

Not a good reason to remove the juries if televoters go backwards again in picking circus acts over quality musical acts and more of them dominating the line-up: talking turkeys, astronauts, men and women with weird pointy things on their heads, and many others.

Tusán
Guest

LOL The ones you just mentioned did not even qualify for the grand final. Remember, your ‘real music’ hero Salvador has won televote too, so I don’t know why you are so concerned about it, but if people decided to vote for a cheesy pop song they would have every right to. We have to maintain democratic values in the contest.

Per Zoso
Guest
Per Zoso

Tusan, people tend to lean more on voting for their favorite artists only and not for the actual songs competing in a song contest during the dark era of televoting.

That is not democracy at work, but populism.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Nobody knows

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

…the artists from other countries before the contest lmao. The public votes for what they like during the final night.

Fatima
Guest
Fatima

” juries are … members of the general public who vote mainly based on their taste or other bias”
Gosh, such insight from Polegend. Thank goodness you’re here to tell us these things. Forget Noel Curran, the EBU should be hiring someone with your expertise.

Ana
Guest
Ana

I agree with Polegend Godgarina, juries sucks, so-called experts, lol

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I mean, isn’t it clear? If the juries were objective, they would all vote for the same songs. But since they’re flawed humans, they’ll vote for what they like or for what they’re told. Look at Azerbaijan’s jury votes – all VERY similar, they were clearly told what to vote for. Now look at Sweden’s – all completely different and over the place, because each juror voted based on their taste. Juries simply do not work.

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

Televoting is a real shame, where running order and staging means almost everything. Have you forgot about Azerbaijan’2011 televoting controversy, the same goes with Russia’2008. A blatant diaspora and neighbour voting snoozefest that needs to be eradicated.
No televoting at all, give all the power to the juries. I’d rather see Raphael Gualazzi winning than some Swedish “Chasing Cars” for Azerbaijan.

Chels
Guest
Chels

Salvador – the Superman of Quality – won televote, with his song and story, so both televote and jury liked him.
Let people vote what they like, and just prove with figures that what jury wanted was more successful than what televote wanted (I mean successful after esc).
Off topic – will Salvador go to US? He must be careful of his travels because if it will be proved that he did not needed to miss the first two rehearsals in Kyiv, we all will know he was a drama queen in search of drama.

U r real drama queen
Guest
U r real drama queen

Hi! his family also have home at USA. Bye

Pavel
Guest
Pavel

Salvador and a lot of telewinners only won because their song/staging or smth else really stood out from the rest in a sea of 26 entries.
The solution: make only 5 qualifiers from each SF (less songs in the final), bring back the language rule and the orchestra. Maybe Eastern Europe countries finally stop participating and the contest is going to get back to the quality of Secret Garden and Eimear Quinn.

Mattias Sollerman
Guest
Mattias Sollerman

Or perhaps he is more concerned with the prospect of his country forevermore giving top marks to Lithuania.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

Lithuania isn’t going to win from 12 Irish points. They didn’t even qualify this year.

Darren
Guest
Darren

An Irish person over the EBU? What a great day for the parish 😀

Maybe we might start seeing good results for Ireland now, seeing as Scandinavia done well when Jon Ola took over 😉

I joke of course. EBU is apolitical 😉 😉 😉

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

By that regional logic, the UK could also expect to see good results!

Darius
Guest
Darius

Ingrid Deltenre is from Switzerland and…they didn’t qualify for years, so… Yeah, it has nothing to do with his nationality, it’s all about politics, like you’ve said….

Efraim
Guest
Efraim

You seem to be forgetting a crucial line of the article: “While the EBU is best known for organising Eurovision, the Irishman won’t be directly involved with the day-to-day running of the contest — that’s still Jon Ola Sand’s responsibility.”

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Well I can see why he got the job. Impressive resume – even married to a Eurovision winner. Who can compete with that? 🙂

Will he, Eimear and the family have to relocate to Geneva?

Tomás Patrick davitt
Guest
Tomás Patrick davitt

Lol what happened to ingrid? …..

Denis
Guest
Denis

Nothing, she decided to quit. You can’t stay your whole life, you now!

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Or maybe the storm over Russia and Ukraine just got way too hot for her to stay. Didn’t she claim that she was contacted by several delegations who were threatening to pull out of Kyiv? Not one of them boycotted. That egg on her face lingered long enough that she needed to get the hell out of there before she made things worse.

The Romanian EBU default situation last year certainly didn’t help things at all, especially when they decided to revoke their participation 3 weeks before the contest and force Ovidiu Anton to stay home.

andrei mo.
Guest
andrei mo.

guess she knew she will be gone before Ukraine-Russia, but if was because Romania 2016, then i’m glad. that was ugly story , for some concerts for new year’s eve and handball games…ebu decided to diisqualify Romania. in march 2016 Romania payed the fee, and ebu accepted , and then ebu said that changed its mind and the fee will be counted as part of the debt.
so illogical, say what you want, but was not ethical , and is ebu that changed its mind in the last moment, after saying something different in march 2016.
goodbye ingrid.