In May, Petra Mede will host the Eurovision Song Contest for the third time. She’s currently busy rehearsing from Stockholm — via Zoom — with her co-host Malin Åkerman, who is in Los Angeles. In between sessions with the Hollywood actress and director and scriptwriter Edward af Sillén, Petra found some time to sit down with me to discuss her plans for Malmö and the incredible career that got her there. We discuss the new show number “We Just Love Eurovision Too Much,” how different co-hosts elicit different energy from her and how tiny mistakes from past editions are giving her even more confidence for Eurovision 2024.

Yet what lingers the most for me isn’t Eurovision. It’s a portrait of a complex woman who, despite the many laughs, understands suffering. A back injury ended her life as a ballerina, leaving her searching for what to do next. Thankfully, and as you’ll see below, Petra knew the solution was in her and found a way to persevere. We’ve been enjoying the results ever since — and we get to do it again in May.

Petra Mede tells us about “We Just Love Eurovision Too Much” 

Petra Mede understands that humour is a central part of the song contest, particularly the intervals which, let’s be frank, have dragged at times. 

“From 2016 at least, the thing that Måns and I did was making fun of Eurovision in the Eurovision — and the fans really liked that,” she says. “We can be mocking a little bit and at the same time loving the show. And I think it’s fun to do that.”

That, of course, was “Love Love Peace Peace,” perhaps the most iconic Eurovision interval of all time. It highlighted the wackery on show at Eurovision in a loving way and fans went wild. Will we get a sequel?

“Every Eurovision is a new Eurovision. But I can tell you that there will be a show number. I will be singing and dancing a little bit. The show number is called ‘We Just Love Eurovision Too Much.’ The theme, you can guess, is that we Swedes are just too much in love with Eurovision and we apologise for winning all the time. But we want to come out as modest people. Although we are very proud, we love to win of course.”

Winning is one thing — and struggling is something else entirely. Petra understands that too. She devoted much of her early life to ballet, even enrolling in the prestigious Balettakademien in Stockholm. But just as her star was rising she suffered a back injury that forced her to retire early.

She now divides her life into three periods: the one where she was dancing, the one where she was on extended sick leave because of the complications with her back, and the current one, where she lives and thrives as a comedian and presenter.

What’s her advice to people who are struggling to overcome similar challenges?

“Never lose hope. No matter what people tell you — the doctors or the physicians, your friends — nobody should ever take the hope from anybody.”

“I met doctors who said, ‘Your back will never get better and you’ll never work again.’ If I had believed them maybe I wouldn’t have come back. Keep that inner hope.”

“If you don’t have a job or you’re on sick leave, don’t lose the self-esteem no matter how they treat you. Know your own worth. You’re always worth more than you think.”

Interview timestamps

01:00 Did SVT call Petra Mede, or did Petra Mede call SVT?

01:35 Did you have to think twice about hosting for a third time?

02:11 “I like to be a little bit of a diva”

03:00 On shooting up through the floor at Eurovision 2013

03:45 On her relationship with Malin Åkerman

05:45 Do different co-hosts bring out different sides of you?

07:50 Where are you at with preparations for Eurovision 2024?

09:00 What’s the most difficult segment of Eurovision to host?

10:15 Did you make any mistakes previously while hosting?

12:06 Eurovision is evolving — will your hosting change too?

13:50 On “Love Love Peace Peace” and its sequel “We Just Love Eurovision Too Much”

15:00 Will ABBA participate in Eurovision?

15:40 Petra discusses her early life as a ballerina — and the back injury that changed her life forever

17:00 On how she became a comedian

17:35 Does your ballet background help you in your current career?

18:11 What advice do you have for people picking themselves up from a challenge?

20:30 Looking back at your long career, did you imagine you’d achieve all of this? You can order 

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

19 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mia
Mia
23 days ago

In this times we need a friend like Petra to relax and laugh!

Bandido
Bandido
1 month ago

2013 -‘Ding Dong indeed!’ (After Finland), 2024 -‘No rules indeed!’

Stian F
Stian F
1 month ago

Super excited for Petra hosting once again! Love her personality and her effortless way of hosting and mixing in humor. She deserves to be in Eurovision Hall of Fame! I just got love for her!

Iv***
Iv***
1 month ago

To quote the wise Tamta: „Replay, replay…“ This woman is „funny and exciting“ as the dial tone.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
1 month ago

i don’t care

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Anonymous91

And yet here you are. Like a turd that won’t flush

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

bore off go drool over the swiss freakshow Nemo

DJdjdj
DJdjdj
1 month ago

Petra Mede … just wow

ANDREW BROWN
ANDREW BROWN
1 month ago

Great interview. As much as i am looking forward to the songs im also looking forward to welcoming back Petra.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

That was a lovely interview, so good to see her back and thank you W for asking very good questions.

I wish we could get to know more of Malin, the co-host. I don’t think I have watched her shows and i don’t know how she’s going to be on stage but I bet she will be wonderful.

I still remember how genius Petra was during the voting, she was improvising when connecting to the various juries for the results and she was soo damn funny.

Milla
Milla
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

Malin is an actress, both in Sweden and internationally.

Anonymous91
Anonymous91
1 month ago
Reply to  Milla

yeah we all know Malin honestly, great villain role she played in Rampage opposite to daddies Dwayne Johnson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan!!

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago

Wise and empathetic words, Petra. There is no end to your wonderfulness!

Fatima
Fatima
1 month ago

Petra is so effortlessly funny. We really need her as host this year, and we really needed this super interview.

Milan
Milan
1 month ago

She’s the only reason I might just watch this year’s edition of ESC. What a terrific job she did last time!

Jonas
Jonas
1 month ago
Reply to  Milan

And the time before that!