He’s the ever outspoken singer turned TV boss, who recently stepped away from Sweden’s Melodifestivalen after two decades at the helm. Now, Christer Björkman has touched upon a whole range of topics in a recent two-part episode of the Eurovision Legends podcast, including his views on the United Kingdom’s recent run of poor form at the song contest.
Christer Björkman on the United Kingdom at Eurovision
Christer’s musings on the Brits’ Eurovision fortunes come when he’s asked which country should take a break or step up at the contest. And he doesn’t hold back.
“I don’t really know what is wrong with the BBC. It’s remarkable how badly they handle this competition. You don’t really need to keep back on that criticism because it’s now even in British media. This year, they really put the finger on it correctly, saying ‘we cannot blame anyone. It is not the Brexit. It is not that people don’t like us. That’s a myth’. They send crap. And that is the fault of the BBC. It’s not the fault of the fans. It’s not the fault of media. It’s not the fault of UK. It’s the BBC. For god’s sakes, get it right!”
When asked whether BBC’s partner BMG should shoulder some of the blame, he says: “Well, it could be BMG. But on the other hand, if they don’t know what they should be looking for… I mean if the input they get is ‘don’t take it seriously’, I don’t know. In the end, it is the BBC. Because if they had a person who was responsible for this, a little like me, that person would tell BMG ‘no, that’s not good enough, on the level we’re supposed to be’. And I would show them clips of at least 20 songs in the last two, three years that are valid from the competition and say ‘this is where you have to be’. It has to be original, it has to be up to date, it has to have an air of the year you’re in. Oh, this makes me really fired up, I have to tell you. I mean seriously, seriously.”
Christer Björkman previously told the UK to stop mocking Eurovision
This isn’t the first time Björkman has shared his two cents on the topic. Speaking in 2016, he specifically zoned in on the tone of the BBC’s coverage: “Terry Wogan did the commentary for 25 years and it was always mocking. Now Graham Norton also has this flippant tone. It doesn’t work. It’s a lot easier to joke than to win”.
At the time, he also suggested the UK should give up its Big 5 status and compete in the semi-finals: “I can understand why you don’t risk taking that step but if you look at the songs that travel, they start in the semi-final and they become stronger and stronger during the week. Conchita wasn’t even mentioned as one of the favourites before the semi-final and then she became a shooting star – that’s only because she revealed herself before. And you need to do that.”
What do you think of Christer’s comments on the United Kingdom? Are they fair? Let us know below.