Nicola Caligiore — the beloved head of delegation for Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest — is leaving his role.
Eurofestival News — the authority on all matters of Italy at Eurovision — broke the news on their web site Sunday afternoon. They report that he’ll be stepping down from Italian broadcaster RAI after the Junior Eurovision Song Contest on November 24th.
That means he’ll also be leaving his position on the EBU Reference Group, the body that represents EBU members and oversees the Eurovision Song Contest. In March he’d been re-elected to the position for a fourth time.
Writing on Eurofestival news, author Alex Pigliavento praised Nicola for helping Eurovision get the exposure — and the broadcast time — it needed in Italy. You’ll remember that Nicola paved the way for the airing of both semis in Italy. Here’s what Alex wrote.
“Needless to say, if Italy is back in the race at the event that we all love it is partly thanks to him, and the immense work done over the years to give greater visibility to Eurovision with promotion that’s always growing and has led to what is now normal for us (but which was not a few years ago) — that is the broadcast of both the semi-finals (on Rai 4) and of the final broadcast on the flagship network of Rai.”
Indeed, we’ve loved getting to know Nicola at both Junior Eurovision and Eurovision. Under his leadership, Italy has become a constant source of quality songs and fan fervour. The hype surrounding Italy’s Eurovision acts — always among the top artists in the country — has made the song contest better for everyone. When it comes to art and culture the world looks to Italy, and Nicola has helped put its Eurovision participation in that mix.
And while Nicola has countless qualities one could stress — good humour, ambition, openness — we’d like to end this by stressing his kindness. At various editions of Junior Eurovision we have seen the ease with which he works with children. He was always the exact opposite of the “pushy parent” type, instead keeping his performers calm and making sure they had a good time before all else. It’s one of his qualities we will remember most. It’s not to say he doesn’t want to win. You’ll remember he led Italy to the top of JESC 2014, and gifted us greats like Mahmood and Francesco Gabbani.
And with that we bid thee farewell, sweet Nicola. We can’t wait to see what you do next!