He’s the man in charge of Melodifestivalen — easily the most successful national selection contest out there — and under his leadership Sweden has managed to grab the ESC trophy twice and score a number of top rankings.
But in a new interview with Swedish newspaper Expressen, Melfest guru Christer Björkman makes it clear that he is sticking to his earlier decision to stop as producer and boss at Melodifestivalen within the next four years.
“I long for the day that I can see the competition on TV and get upset and appalled like everybody else. I have an end date and that’s 2021 because then I would have done this for 20 years.”
In February 2017, during an interview on the podcast “Schlager-Micke och hans vänner“, Björkman announced that he had put an end date on his Melfest career — and that that end date was 2021.
And now he reiterates that decision in the Expressen interview.
Luckily for us, Christer will not retire from Melodifestivalen and the Eurovision stage without giving us a peep backstage first.
On 22 September the 59-year-old Swede releases his autobiography entitled “Generalen – Bara jag vet hvem som vinnar” or in English “The General – Only I Know Who Wins”. The book is allegedly packed with Christer Björkman’s own Melfest memories and anecdotes from behind the scenes at Eurovision and Melodifestivalen.
Besides establishing his retirement from Melodifestivalen, Christer also revealed in the Expressen interview that he doesn’t have a favourite Eurovision song per se — it’s all about his mood on the day! BUT there is one song that is very close to his heart — and that is, not surprising, Loreen and “Euphoria”.
“The reason is that I was so incredibly involved with Loreen. That song is closest to me, that’s a complete given.”
The Melfest boss also mentions that winning the 1992 Melodifestivalen is one of the two best memories in his life – the other one being his marriage to his husband Martin.
“It was the beginning of my Melodifestivalen career. It gave me a new profession. I won in 1992 and for the next 10 years I worked as an artist and as a writer where I wrote a lot about Eurovision. SVT called in the autumn of 2001 and asked me if I would like to be responsible for the artists,” he says.
And the gig that began almost 20 years ago will thus come to an end in 2021 at the latest. There can be no doubt that when Christer Björkman pulls the plug and retires, his successor will have big shoes to fill. But don’t worry: Sweden’s rich Eurovision and Melfest traditions will continue. Speaking to wiwibloggs, he previously said that his successor is already shadowing him and he will slowly turn the reigns over to her in the years ahead.
What do you think about Christer’s retirement? Do you anticipate that Sweden’s Melfest and Eurovision entries will take on a different character after he leaves? Do you want them to? Leave your comments down below!