Eurovision 2020 is cancelled, but British viewers will definitely have song contest feels this May. The BBC has announced an extensive schedule of Eurovision-related programming across TV and radio. It mixes original programming made for 2020 and programmes pulled from the archives to help get y’all through the next few weeks.

British Eurofans will be particularly excited to hear that the official EBU replacement show Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light will get primetime billing on BBC One, rather than being relegated to BBC iPlayer. You’ll recall that fans were up-in-arms when it seemed the shoe was destined for the online streaming site rather than traditional telly.

The BBC’s original production Eurovision: Come Together will air on BBC One from 18:30 local time on BBC One. The EBU’s Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light will follow at 20:00.

At 22:00 Rylan will host a special highlights show on BBC Two called The A-Z of Eurovision, which “takes a sideways look at the greatest singing contest on the planet.” And, wrapping up an extensive evening of Eurovision coverage, BBC Two will re-air a Eurovision-themed edition of Top of the Pops 2, which first aired in 2007.

The details are long and extensive, so we’re re-publishing the BBC press release in full below.

BBC Eurovision 2020 programming schedule

The contest might not be going as planned this year, but we are promising plenty of Eurovision content across TV, Radio and Online in celebration of the biggest music competition in the world.

From a night of special programmes celebrating this year’s contest on BBC One, to revisiting classic moments on BBC Two and a host of specially themed programmes and treats from the archives to enjoy on BBC Radio 2, there will be a wealth of Eurovision content for you to look forward to this May.

Eurovision: Come Together – 6.30pm on Saturday 16 May on BBC One

Graham Norton will be on hand to kick off a night of Eurovision fun on BBC One on Saturday 16th May.

In this one-off special from BBC Studios, Graham will give UK viewers the opportunity to take part in a live vote to crown their favourite Eurovision performance from an eclectic short list compiled by experts and celebrity super fans. Graham will also have a chat with James Newman, the act who was due to fly the UK flag in The Netherlands in 2020.

Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light – 8pm on Saturday 16 May on BBC One

Following Eurovision: Come Together, BBC One will be broadcasting Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, which will honour all 41 songs that would have competed in the 2020 contest but in a non-competitive format, as well as providing plenty of surprises for fans and viewers at home. Just like the contest itself, the live show will be simultaneously broadcast across Europe and beyond and will be hosted by the original Dutch presenters for Eurovision Song Contest 2020 Chantal Janzen, Edsilia Rombley and Jan Smit from The Netherlands.

There will also be an unforgettable virtual sing-a-long where fans from across the world will dress up and form a huge Eurovision choir performing Johnny Logan’s winning song for Ireland in 1980, ‘What’s Another Year’.

Graham Norton will provide live commentary.

The A-Z of Eurovision – 10pm on Saturday 16 May on BBC Two

Rylan Clark-Neal narrates a guide to all things Eurovision in this brand new compilation of highlights from BBC Studios as he takes a sideways look at the greatest singing contest on the planet.

Moving through the alphabet, Rylan will be taking us from A, which is of course for Abba & Azerbaijan but also animals – featuring the Italian gorilla man and Azerbaijan’s backing dancer wearing a horse’s head through Z is for Zelmerlöw, Måns Zelmerlöw to be precise. The only Eurovision performer to have won the contest, hosted the contest and taken part in an interval act.

The A-Z of Eurovision will feature all the memorable musical moments from 65 years of Eurovision.

TOTP2 Goes Eurovision! 10.30pm on Saturday 16 May on BBC Two

First shown ahead of the 2007 Contest, Steve Wright introduces a special Eurovision-themed edition of the show, featuring archive songs by stars of the famous competition. Artists include Cliff Richard, Lulu, Bucks Fizz, Sandie Shaw, Brotherhood of Man, Johnny Logan and Abba, plus 2007’s UK entrants, Scooch.

Eurovision at 60 – 9.30pm on Friday 15 May on BBC Four

First shown to celebrate the Eurovision Song Contest’s 60th anniversary in 2015, BBC Four joins the celebrations with an appreciation of the joy, madness, scandal and intrigue that has defined the Eurovision Song Contest.

It’s a story of pioneering songs, singers and programme makers; complex and extraordinary technology, laborious voting and a bit of naughtiness. Above all, it can be argued that Eurovision is a symbol of tolerance. As Graham Norton says of Conchita Wurst’s 2014 win: “The people had spoken…and they were nicer and more tolerant people than their governments let us think.”

Featuring interviews with Graham Norton, Conchita Wurst, Sir Terry Wogan and a whole host of Eurovision stars, songwriters and programme makers.

Dana – The Original Derry Girl – BBC One Northern Ireland on Monday 11 May at 10.45pm and 11pm on Friday 15 May on BBC Four

Fifty years ago, an 18-year-old schoolgirl left the Bogside and headed off to Amsterdam to represent Ireland in the 15th Eurovision Song Contest. What happened that night was to change her life forever.

Dana – The Original Derry Girl on BBC One Northern Ireland, is a look back at that young schoolgirl’s incredible life story, retracing her steps to the stage of the RAI theatre, where against the odds she became Ireland’s first Eurovision winner.

Eurovision 2020 The Cancelled Coronavirus Year – BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat – available from 6am on Monday 11 May on BBC iPlayer

Filming for this exclusive behind the scenes documentary began back in February – before it was revealed that the 2020 Eurovision song contest in Rotterdam was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat follows James Newman as he prepares to be unveiled as the UK’s Eurovision representative, filming him in rehearsals, and backstage at his first public performance of his Eurovision entry, accompanied by his brother, artist John Newman and their mum.

Following the cancellation of Eurovision, James shares what this means for him and he speaks to some of this year’s other contestants in other countries about their experiences and future plans. The documentary features commentary from artists who have worked with James, including Olly Murs, Mollie King and Piers from Rudimental.

BBC Radio 2 will be bringing the spirit of Eurovision to listeners, and all the programmes are also available on BBC Sounds. On Ken Bruce’s mid- morning weekday show, the featured album of the week will be Eurovision 2020 – the official compilation album of the artists and songs from the contest – plus clips from previous winners and their entries will be broadcast (Monday 11th May, 9.30am-12pm).

Ahead of his tv show on Saturday night, in the morning Graham Norton will be getting listeners into the Eurovision spirit by playing some of contest’s finest songs, both past and present (Saturday 16th May, 10am- 1pm). And later that night is another chance to hear Graham Norton, Douze Points in which he looks back on his first ten years as UK Commentator of the Eurovision Song Contest. From Moscow in 2009, to last year’s show in Tel Aviv, he remembers the big winners and the artists the UK sent, from Blue to Electro Velvet. Along with super fan Paddy O’Connell, he also recalls the controversies and triumphs, shocks and surprises… and that infamous stage invasion in Lisbon, 2018 (Saturday 16 May, 9-10pm,).

Afterwards, Rylan Clark-Neal presents Eurovision Kings and Queens of Pop where he’ll be selecting his choice of the greatest Eurovision moments from the history of the competition and his favourite songs that would have been a part of this year’s event in Rotterdam. Also packed with nostalgic tracks the show features Eurovision favourites including Abba, Sandie Shaw, Bucks Fizz, Mans Zelmerlow, Netta, Celine Dion, Gina G, Dana International, Katrina and The Waves, Conchita Wurst, and last year’s winner Duncan Laurence who triumphed for the Netherlands with his song, Arcade. Plus there are joyous hand-picked archive clips from the BBC vaults (Saturday 16th May, 10pm-midnight).

Additionally, there will a Eurovision Collection broadcast on Radio 2 and on BBC Sounds, featuring fantastic programmes from the archive. In From ABBA to Azerbaijan (56 Years of Eurovision), Maria McErlane is the listeners’ tour guide to 56 years of the Eurovision Song Contest (Saturday 16th May, 3-4am); Ken Bruce’s Ultimate Eurovision Chart celebrates 60 years of the Eurovision Song Contest, counting down the Top 40 all-time favourite Eurovision winning songs as voted for by Radio 2 listeners (Sunday 17th May, 2-4am); and Let’s Abba Party marks the twentieth anniversary of hit stage musical, Mamma Mia!, with Nicki Chapman presenting a two-hour special featuring a non-stop mix of classic hits, covers, and selections from the cast recordings and film soundtracks (Sunday 17th May, 5-7pm).

All programming will be available on catch-up on BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds.

Which shows will you be watching? Let us know down below! And if you need even more Eurovision programming, you can re-listen to my hour-long radio documentary from Tel Aviv!

Total
1
Shares

17
Leave a Reply

avatar
15 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
15 Comment authors
FatimaDenisESCalatorJimmy SmitBoozyfloozy Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Fatima
Guest
Fatima

It’s all welcome, especially the album of the week status. But please, BBC, don’t keep plastering Norton’s face on every facet or your contest coverage. I like him, but it’s not all about him.

ESCalator
Guest
ESCalator

The backlash has obviously worked.

Jimmy Smit
Guest
Jimmy Smit

It’s clear from these descriptions and the songs choices that the Contest is still primarily to be treated as a joke for the average viewer in the UK. The UK hosting anytime soon would not be good for the Contest.

Anyway, presumably they’ve now put together this programming because relatively little new content is being made anyway so they might as well put on various Eurovision material as light entertainment. It’s not the glorious revelation that the BBC is repositioning it’s approach to the Contest, as some fans might hope.

Denis
Guest
Denis

Eh, how about giving it a chance?

Jimmy Smit
Guest
Jimmy Smit

“ The A-Z of Eurovision will feature all the memorable musical moments from 65 years of Eurovision.”

According to whose memory? That’s quite a promise.

Boozyfloozy
Guest
Boozyfloozy

Still waiting for the UK bashers to come an apologise…

yodenman
Guest
yodenman

For once I’m pleased that our representative will get a fair share of the spotlight. He is a genuine guy and actually sings a very credible song.

Rhys
Guest
Rhys

This has shut up all the BBC and UK moaners, this proves they are taking it seriously and have a deep love for Eurovision

I will place money on when the BBC do finally get to host a Eurovision Song Contest year it will be the best one ever!!

EmmelieDarlineFrancescoFan
Guest
EmmelieDarlineFrancescoFan

I think there’s also a Pointless Celebrities Eurovision special being aired on Saturday 16th May. I was there at the filming, and they said it was likely to be aired this date (although that was obviously before the main contest was cancelled).

first row at ESC and JESC
Guest
first row at ESC and JESC

only one word for that news: WOW !

My Tears Are Getting Sober
Guest
My Tears Are Getting Sober

FINALLY

ANDREW BROWN
Guest
ANDREW BROWN

At last commonsense prevails. I own up I was one of the BBC BASHERS. But I like to think if me and others who love Eurovision in its many shades had not voiced our anger this turn around by the BBC would not have happened. Think of it this way no one is bigger than the main star. That star in this case is Eurovision. The BBC were going to make Graham Norton the star. Sorry I hope like us he now returns to being a fan.

Kosey
Guest
Kosey

I think a lot of people need to apologize for all the UK bashing that was taking place on here a few days ago. This is a seriously comprehensive programme of events.

arthuresc
Guest
arthuresc

Funny, I can’t seem to see all those commenters from the last post declaring that the UK hates Eurovision, deserves to always do badly, hates Europe, so disrespectful, doesn’t take anything seriously, etc etc etc. Assume they’re eating their words somewhere.

Kim
Guest
Kim

What was all that noise about the BBC not taking Eurovision seriously?!?

James
Guest
James

The plan was originally for Europe Shine A Light to be relegated to iPlayer, as confirmed by people connected to the broadcaster itself. The special that BBC is producing would have been the prime program of the night in place of the Saturday final. People are complaining at the time because of the quality of previous Eurovision specials done by them where you could expect British snark, songs and performances being made fun of, Brexit bitterness and your usual round of Cliff Richards, Bucks Fizz, Lulu, Johnny Logan, Abba and Sandie Shaw among others. Of course, there would be additional… Read more »

James
Guest
James

And now all is right in the world.