He’s the Divine Comedy frontman who co-wrote the iconic Eurovision parody song “My Lovely Horse”. But now the Northern Irish musician Neil Hannon has revealed he will never write an actual Eurovision entry. Hannon has told The Irish Sun that he feels Eurovision has lost its cheesy charm.

Hannon is the founder of the Northern Irish “chamber pop” group the Divine Comedy. They have a long career, with ten albums to their name. However, to Eurovision fans, Hannon is best known as the co-writer of the Eurovision parody song “My Lovely Horse”.

The song featured in a 1996 episode of the British sitcom Father Ted. The episode was based on the idea of the Irish broadcaster choosing a deliberately awful song in order to lose Eurovision and end Ireland’s costly winning-streak.

Neil Hannon revealed to The Irish Sun that in the past he has been asked to seriously contribute a song for Ireland’s Eurovision entry. He said, “I have been asked many times to write for Ireland, and I’ve always said no. Well, maybe not many times — but I’ve definitely been asked.”

But, as he explained, he’d never write for Eurovision because he’s no longer a fan of the song contest. He said, “Even though I know a lot about Eurovision and I’ve enjoyed elements of it over the years, I kind of don’t like the way it’s gone.”

Most of all, he feels that Eurovision has lost its cheesy appeal. “I don’t really want to be a part of it now. It’s rather lost its fun cheesiness — it’s all too seriousness now.”

Eurovision fans may disagree with that. In recent years, the contest has seen gloriously cheesy performances such as the self-love of Slavko Kalezic‘s “Space”, Serhat‘s disco extravaganza “I Didn’t Know”, the hot cops of Eduard Romanyuta‘s “I Want Your Love” and the busty milkmaids of Donatan & Cleo‘s “My Slowianie – We Are Slavic”.

But considering that only one of those songs made it into the grand final, perhaps it’s best to stay away from cheese  in a Eurovision entry.

In the meantime, Ireland’s broadcaster RTÉ is internally selecting its entry for Eurovision 2018. While no details have been revealed yet, earlier in November punk legend John Lydon hinted at potential Eurovision involvement. Other rumours have emerged, suggesting that 2000s pop star Samantha Mumba and an unnamed Irish boyband are also under consideration.

What do you think? Does Eurovision need to be cheesier? Should Ireland send another song about a lovely horse? Share your thoughts below!

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Matthew
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Matthew

#sad emoji

Sal
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Sal

So many Brits who don’t even watch Eurovision seem to have such weird and misinformed opinions on the competition.

Fatima
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Fatima

Spot on Sal, anyone who is actually taking notice of the contest these days will observe that there is both chalk and cheese, with everything in between.

Fatima
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Fatima

“Even though I know a lot about Eurovision …”
No you don’t, you’re a typical British Eurovisiophobe

Fliponline
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Fliponline

actually – he’s Irish – not British

Togravus
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Togravus

I have become so tired of people talking down ESC by now. If it is cheesy, they don’t like it, and if it isn’t, that’s also wrong. LOL ESC has always been what it is, and what it is has changed several times over the years. Just compare the 60s to the 70s, the 80s, the 90s … and then all those to the 100 % televoting years. The re-introduction of the juries changed the contest again. The cultural-historical dimension of ESC is precisely what makes it such an interesting format imo … and such a flexible and resilient little… Read more »

Mark
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Mark

I for one am glad the ‘cheeziness’ has gone. Makes the contest more legitimate.

HarpyDarper
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HarpyDarper

He mentioned on the Dave Gorman radio show a few years back that he’s been asked, but he’s not really interested. A shame as Divine Comedy have had some cracking tunes over the years, but like Belle and Sebastian I’m not sure if they would work at ESC or not.
He did an item for the Culture Show back in 2007, I’ll see if I can find it.

mawnck
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mawnck

Would this be it? (Even if it isn’t, it’s awesome!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXTx_Cfquu4

Fatima
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Fatima

You mean the Belle and Sebastian who plagiarised Cliff Richard? They wouldn’t last 30 seconds on the Eurovision stage

joseph
Guest

so glad samantha mumba is actually getting considered despite rumours she wants to. She fits rte’s description of the ideal singer perfectly! plenty of experiance! Imo, ireland and rte need to stay away from anything boy band ish, as the last two came from boybands and flopped.

Mark
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Mark

Ireland needs another country to choose their act.

Craig
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Craig

So, he missed the yodelling, the one-man duet and the dancing gorilla this year, then?

Napaw
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Napaw

Maybe that is what he considers “serious“ already?

Benito Bonito
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Benito Bonito

I’m all for cheesiness. How does it feel when cheesy songs are international hits, and esc has…..
According to serious people, Gangnam Style would have been the ultimate joke.
It’s sad when esc fans lose their sense of humor.

D
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D

It’s a good thing it’s lost its cheesiness. It’s a song contest, not a comedy program.

Napaw
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Napaw

That’s not true! Eurovision is all about this one particular fun and cheesy song. He’s more than welcome to participate if you ask me.

Eurovision needs this kind of variety or else one day we’ll end up listening to 24 power ballads.

Jake
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Jake

This is a bizarre take on Eurovision. I actually think the 90s were the least cheesy decade probably since the 60s. The 80s and 70s were filled with cheese. But it was also a function of those decades and music of the time. Ireland have always been most successful when they presented serious heartfelt songs. I guess what he misses was when Ireland took the contest seriously and many presented cheese. So Ireland won often. Now Ireland presents cheese and he no longer finds it fun.

chanson
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chanson

He didn’t say anything about the nineties, though. I mean, he probably does think Eurovision was better then, but he actually said he thinks the seventies were the golden era, with the cardboards sets and the flouncy dress…

chanson
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chanson

*dresses

Eire
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Eire

‘BRITISH sitcom’… seriously Robyn?

HBau
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HBau

Made by Brits, written by Irishmen, for a British TV channel, set in Ireland. Wiki says it’s British, and if you had to choose one or th other that does seem the correct-on-paper choice.

Jonas
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Jonas

It was funded by Brits, not made by Brits.

The writers, actors, and director were all Irish.

Another Eurovision link – Declan Lowney, who directed many Father Ted episodes, also directed the 1988 Eurovision in Dublin. Fun fact.

Robyn, the Brits get everything, you could have given poor Ireland this…first you take Terry Wogan, now this…?

The UK can have Mrs. Brown’s Boys, though.

Lawrence R Gibb
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Lawrence R Gibb

Hmmm? Ireland’s winning streak in the 9th ‘s was the result of serious writing. Thereby hangs the problem with Irish and UK entries, they fail to recognise the quality that is required to attract votes from the range of cultures of 40+ countries. Australia managed to catch on quickly. The less cheddar Roquefort and jarlsberg the better as far as the aged euro fan is concerned.

Jo
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Jo

Cheesy songs are still over there. I don’t like them, but if the performance is entertaining I don’t see any problem by having some of them in the pack.
“Hey Mamma” is a great example. It was fun, catchy, cheesy, but still having some class.
I’m not a big fan of “My Friend” though.