He’s the Swedish television producer, famed for the Nordic nation’s recent success at Eurovision and masterminding its national selection Melodifestivalen for the past fifteen years. And now Christer Bjorkman, who produced Eurovision 2013 and Eurovision 2016, has released his autobiography Generalen

Written with the author Petter Karlsson, it covers his years at the helm of Melodifestivalen, representing Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 1992 and his many other Eurovision experiences.

Speaking to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, Christer revealed the experience has involved soul searching: “You have to turn over every stone and actually try to find your way back to what you felt when events happened.”

Christer had mixed emotions before the publication date, but Rickard Engfors — a past member of After Dark — gave him advice that put him at rest: “Two days before publication, I woke up in the middle of the night, but then Rickard said that if I had slept well it would have been the world’s most boring book, because then I wouldn’t have told anyone anything.”

NOT ALL HAPPY MEMORIES

Eurovision 1992 should have been a dream experience for Christer, but instead the dream turned into a nightmare, when a journalist learned he was gay. Rather than see a piece published that hinted toward his sexuality, Christer seduced the journalist in Saint Tropez, and the article ran without any reference to his life as an openly gay man.

“There were really mixed feelings,” Bjorkman reveals twenty five years later. “On the one hand I breathed a sigh of relief because I’d solved the situation. But was I proud of myself? No, I can’t say that.”

CHRISTER BJORKMAN AND SVT

He’s worked on Melodifestivalen since 2002, but in 2021 he’ll call time on his position and make way for fresh leadership. Part of the decision has been driven by a desire to be seen as his own man, with his own opinions.

“With this job I’ve become kind of an SVT profile. I went from being a clear character, with clear opinions, to being an SVT form where I don’t have an opinion about anything actually. You have a single opinion, which is SVT’s policy, and you’re a public servant.”

Leaving Melodifestivalen behind is a chance for him to become less one-dimensional.

There’s still a long way to go before he steps off the Melodifestivalen stage though and we can’t wait to see the acts Christer has lined up for the 2018 edition.

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Musicsoul
Musicsoul
4 years ago

I understand what you mean

Musicsoul
Musicsoul
4 years ago
Reply to  Musicsoul

If only MF / esc was less about glamour – and more about music, it would be much better

Charli Cheer Up
Charli Cheer Up
4 years ago

If only I could read Swedish!

Daniel
Daniel
4 years ago

Why were they in Saint Tropez? I think the journalist asked for this bribe, a vacation for them two. Is sad that times were like that, nowadays is the other way around-rumor about being gay makes the singer think about the votes this might bring.

Emma
Emma
4 years ago

Anyone know if this book is available in English?

bjorkmanstan
bjorkmanstan
4 years ago

aaa i’d really like to read this book, im a big fan of his and it would be very interesting to read about his life

Jonas
Jonas
4 years ago

I too thought the 1992 “nightmare” would be about his dreary song and dismal result. 🙂 –

“Rather than see a piece published that hinted toward his sexuality, Christer seduced the journalist in Saint Tropez, and the article ran without any reference to his life as an openly gay man.” –

Well…he wasn’t “openly” gay, was he? How sad that unenlightened attitudes caused him anguish at arguably the peak of his singing career. He’s far from the only one, sadly, even today. #Pride

Women, football and rock'n'roll
Women, football and rock'n'roll
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonas

I prefer to talk about the music. Both his 1992 and 1993 songs were very good I think. The song “Valkommen hem” (don’t know about the Swedish spelling) was a very nice understated ballad. With a long beautiful instrumental intro

TheDrMistery
TheDrMistery
4 years ago

“Eurovision 1992 should have been a dream experience for Christer, but instead the dream turned into a nightmare, when a journalist learned he was gay. Rather than see a piece published that hinted toward his sexuality, Christer seduced the journalist in Saint Tropez, and the article ran without any reference to his life as an openly gay man.” Wow, that’s…quite something – unexpected way to solve the problem. The one I’d rather expect to see on “The Bold and the Beautiful” than in real life. At first I thought that nightmare mentioned there was actually his 1992 performance which, let’s… Read more »

Women, football and rock'n'roll
Women, football and rock'n'roll
4 years ago
Reply to  TheDrMistery

I could do without all those parts about his private life. Gay or not – that’s not relevant. It will be interesting to read what he has to say about ESC and the Swedish selection though. As an ESC-fan, that is the important bit for me.

Jonas
Jonas
4 years ago

Um, it is his autobiography so I would argue that it is more than “relevant” – it is his life, and that’s the whole point.

Women, football and rock'n'roll
Women, football and rock'n'roll
4 years ago
Reply to  Jonas

As for his 1992 entry, I really liked it. A nice, understated ballad. Quite modern for that time I suppose.

I also liked the simple way it was performed. Simplicity is the best when it comes to ESC-performances. Honest and focused on the music.

Not sure if he agrees these days. Considering how glamour-focused the Swedish final / ESC has been. Unfortunately. At the end of the day, it’s a music festival. Or *Melodifesitvalen* for that matter.

Denis
Denis
4 years ago

I think it’s relevant. It is his life after all. And being gay is a huge part of that life. As I recall he had to struggle with that. It is important for him.

That’s the point with auto biographs: you talk about everything!

Musicsoul
Musicsoul
4 years ago
Reply to  Denis

Maybe for some 🙂 but it’s Eurovision / MF which is the Main part if the book I suppose. Otherwise, I won’t bother reading it

blah blah blah
blah blah blah
4 years ago

In 2017 I loved Moldova and Sweden, say what you want about the winner, that is a genius…but Salvador is such a rough stone, no sense of humor whatsoever. Deal with it.

Mattias Sollerman
Mattias Sollerman
4 years ago

There will be a 3 day celebration in his honor November 10-12, hosted by Petra Mede. The second day, titled “A night for you everyone with severe schlager disorder”, will see performances by Charlotte Perrelli, Sarah Dawn Finer, Oscar Zia, Ace Wilder, among others.
Schlager and melodifestivalen are often used interchangeably in Sweden. My mother still calls it schlagerfestivalen.