It’s the hit Swedish TV show that has selected the Nordic nation’s Eurovision act in one form or another since 1958.
But last year Melodifestivalen proved more miss than hit.
Eventual winner Benjamin Ingrosso only received 21 points in televoting at Eurovision and the Mello TV shows themselves had the worst ratings in seven years.
Now Swedish Eurovision Broadcaster SVT think they’ve found their fix: veteran Eurovision commentator and comedian Edward af Sillén.
Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet reports af Sillén has been drafted in as a consultant “to save” next year’s shows.
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In an SMS to the tabloid, af Sillén says, “It’s going to be a laugh trying to help and take the content in the right direction.”
Edward af Sillén will work alongisde existing Melodifestivalen creative team Christer Bjorkman and Henric von Zweigbergk. Bjorkman acts as a producer, while Zweigbergk serves as floor manager.
Why hire Edward af Sillén for Melodifestivalen 2019?
SVT has a long relationship with Edward af Sillén, including work on five editions of Melodifestivalen since 2009.
He’s also commentated on Eurovision for Sweden eight times.
Eurofans know him best for his work on the Eurovision 2016 interval spoof “Love, Love, Peace, Peace,” performed by Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw.
Why is SVT taking action?
SVT acknowledge the decision is driven by the reception to last year’s competition.
Ratings dropped below three million, with the content and script receiving particular criticism.
At the time SVT boss Peter Nyrén said the broadcaster had received “signals” that the show had “not been appreciated all the time”.
Now SVT project manager Anette Hellenius says turning to af Sillén is the natural solution:
“I have brought Edward on as a consultant to write some numbers and sketches because I think he is an incredibly skilled creator, he has a long experience of the Melody Festival and because he luckily was free to take on the task now. Edward is a person you always think about when planning Mello.”
Fans will have to wait to see how the new material shapes up until the spring when the show premieres on SVT.
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