PHOTO: EBU / CORINNE CUMMING

He’s the Dutch creative who worked with national delegations to craft their on-stage spectacles in Rotterdam and Turin. And Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen is holding on to his role as Head of Contest as the Eurovision Song Contest moves to Liverpool in 2023.

It’s a role he loves. Speaking to our Renske ahead of the contest in Rotterdam, Twan said:

“It is a lot of work, it’s also very fun to do. Well, I can’t imagine another production in which you are talking to people from Iceland and from San Marino and from Georgia, and all of Europe and beyond of course.”

The inclusion of Twan, who has vast and recent experience working with the participating delegations, will no doubt be a huge asset to the team at the BBC, as they prepare to host the contest for the first time since 1998 — and since the contest ballooned into perhaps the biggest and most complex live music event in the world. 

 

Twan’s role was confirmed as part of a larger announcement about the BBC’s senior leadership team for the contest.

Big Boss honours go to Martin Green, who will serve as Managing Director. He’ll oversee the leadership team that has to deliver across several different areas — from the TV spectacle in the arena to events in the city and more. He was Chief Creative Officer of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, overseeing a vast cultural programme on top of the opening and closing ceremonies. 

“I am thrilled to have been asked to lead the delivery of Eurovision 2023 for the BBC,” he said in a statement on the EBU-run Eurovision web site. “As a lifelong fan of the contest, it’s a dream come true. I’m looking forward to working with the brilliant team at the BBC, in Liverpool and the EBU and of course colleagues from Ukraine; I speak for us all when I say we’ll do you proud.”

Rachel Ashdown is the Lead Commissioner for the BBC on Eurovision 2023. Her name should be familiar to anyone who has watched the credits of Eurovision programming in the UK in recent years. She has been the commissioner for all of the BBC’s Eurovision coverage since 2018 and served on the Reference Group, which governs the song contest, between 2019 and 2021.

Along with BBC Studios, she’s tasked with producing both Semi-Finals and the Grand Final, overseeing the overall look and tone of the live shows. She will also commission other programmes that will run across the BBC. According to the EBU, “this will include the Allocation Draw and other Eurovision Song Contest based shows in the weeks leading up to the event.”

Andrew Cartmell will serve as Executive Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, which means he has “overall responsibility for the Semi-Finals and the Grand Final.” As Head of Delegation in Turin, Andrew helped turn around the U.K.’s fortunes at the event. 

Lee Smithurst has served as Assistant Head of Delegation for the U.K. in recent years — including in Turin — and will helm the U.K.’s efforts at Junior Eurovision in Yerevan this December. He’s also worked on I Can See Your Voice, Kylie Minogue’s Secret Night and Soccer Aid.

And James O’ Brien will be Executive in Charge of Production at BBC Studios. His credits include the MTV Europe Music Awards, the London 2012 Olympics and the most recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

24 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Azuro
Azuro
1 month ago

One of the Big 5, can’t even get it’s own Head of Contest, has to borrow someone from Holland

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago
Reply to  Azuro

What’s the benefit of changing head of contest every year in your opinion?

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

The “host” should be the host, I feel.

musica
musica
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

But this is a very specific job that mr. Twan has done to everyone’s satisfaction the last couple of years. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  musica

That could be said about every job, I’m sure he’s not the only person who can do it. BBC surely have someone. It’s not a big deal to me, but it kinda feels like an EBU imposition.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

We can always ask him how got to be involved again.

musica
musica
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

I know RAI asked him. They were obviously quite happy with how he handled their demands in Rotterdam. I think this year was a bit harder for him, the team on the ground just wasn’t as good. But that’s not his fault.

TJCat
TJCat
1 month ago
Reply to  Azuro

So one person from the announced senior production and management team (James O’Brien, Lee Smithhurst, Andrew Cartmell, Rachel Ashdown, Kate Phillips, Martin Green as well as Twan) isn’t from the UK yet this is what you says?

TJCat
TJCat
1 month ago
Reply to  Azuro

also keep in mind “head of contest” doesn’t mean in charge of the whole thing.Andrew Cartmell is executive producer and lead of the senior team

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  TJCat

I always find it funny whenever Christer Bjorkman is involved, fans think he oversees everything when in reality, someone else is showrunner.

Robert
Robert
1 month ago
Reply to  Azuro

‘The Netherlands’!! Holland is a small part of it……….

SECULAR EUROPEAN TURKEY
SECULAR EUROPEAN TURKEY
1 month ago

Turkey’s Eurovision commentator between 1975 and 2012, Bülend Özveren, has deceased today at the age of 79.
May he rest in peace.
Please make a post about him.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

When will Claudia Winkleman be announced as host?

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Who is she?

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  BadWoolfGirl

I think she’s the highest paid presenter on BBC. She’s doing Strictly Come Dancing now, but she’ll be free in May. I don’t really know a lot of the names being mentioned, but I know I like Claudia. She did the Eurovision Dance Contest with Graham Norton in 2005, so it could happen again.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

2008, sorry, and the contest was in Glasgow… now it’s Liverpool’s turn for some Claudia.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

There’s also Davina McCall, Cat Deeley and Emma Willis.

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  James

They don’t have the same deal with the BBC, though?

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonas

Things can be worked out.

AndersP
AndersP
1 month ago

The credentials of the team listed on the Eurovision website are really impressive. Like REALLY impressive. BBC really is taking this seriously. Great to see!

Polegend Godnova
1 month ago

the dutch are the world champions at making television so i’m sure this is good news. his name is giving keyboard smash tho

GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
1 month ago

Maybe with talent shows, festivals and game shows, but our TV series and movie quality is very low (I am talking about story writing, acting, (sound) directing, etc. The video quality itself is good though). The good Dutch actors, story writers, directors, etc. of TV series and movies all go to foreign industries.

musica
musica
1 month ago
Reply to  GojoSatoru

The Dutch invented The Voice, Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, and a lot of other crap. Not really something to be proud of, but you could call us the world champions of television in that sense.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  musica

Without those formats, we probably wouldn’t have had the likes of Loreen, Mäns Zelmerlow, Duncan and sevwral more Eurovision alumni.