Interview with Richie Anderson on Eurovision 2024 Semi-Finals which start today (May 7)



Interview with Richie Anderson - Eurovision Commentator on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds

Just like that, Eurovision is back! What makes Eurovision so special to you?

Eurovision is my summer Christmas time. I spend the first half of the year looking forward to it and counting down the days. The whole thing just puts a huge smile on my face. I love that it’s such an accepting, fun and eccentric event that welcome everyone no matter what. The whole week building up to the grand final is just such a blast. It’s a real explosion of colour and happiness and I’ve been lucky enough to makes friends through this wonderful event. And let’s be honest all the songs are absolute bops!

Have you ever been to Sweden before?

No, this is my first time visiting Sweden. I’ve got my Swedish phrase book ready and I can’t wait to explore Malmö and sample the local food.

What do you think about the UK entry this year?

It’s such a feel good uplifting song, it jumps out of the radio. If you’re listening to it sitting down you can’t help but tap your feet and shake your shoulders. Olly has such a unique voice and a real stage presence. I think his performance could be a real moment and I can’t wait to dance to it on a night out!

Other than the UK, do you have any personal favourites from this year’s entries?

I think Switzerland and France have strong entries. Anybody who knows me, knows that I love a fierce, pop girl so I’ve got my eye on Georgia, Greece, Cyprus and Austria. I also have a soft spot for Denmark and Estonia who I recently introduced on stage at the London Eurovision Party.

How do you usually celebrate Eurovision?

I used to throw a Eurovision party and all my guests had to bring one food item from a participating country drawn at random before the party by me. There would be Karaoke before the contest starts, Eurovision themed obviously, and some fab drinks on the go - especially Bucks Fizz! I’ve worked the last three years at Eurovision for Radio 2 so my famous parties have been postponed.

What can we expect from the Semi-finals this year?

There’s some really strong acts competing this year and a real mix of up-tempo, ballads, serious and fun. Also, although we don’t have to worry about qualifying as we’re one of the Big Five, the UK will be performing live in full in the Semi-Finals. This has never happened before so we’ll get a sneak peek of what Olly’s got in store before the Grand Final!

What’s your favourite Eurovision song of all time?

Helena Paprizou’s “My Number One” which won for Greece in 2005.


The world’s biggest music competition returns this May as the 68th Eurovision Song Contest, one of the longest-running and most-watched non-sporting events in the world, is broadcast live from Malmö on the BBC.

On Tuesday 7 and Thursday 9 May, the Semi-Finals will be hosted by commentators Scott Mills and Rylan, live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

Over on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds, Richie Anderson will be taking the reins for the first time and leading the commentary on the airwaves.

As one of the ‘Big Five’ countries (United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, Italy), the United Kingdom gains automatic access to the Saturday Grand Final, and as last year’s winner, Sweden are also guaranteed a place in the Grand Final.

In the days leading up to the big night, the BBC will also be providing coverage of the two Semi-Finals, and in a Eurovision first, the ‘Big Five’ countries and this year’s hosts Sweden, will be providing viewers with early preview performances at the Semi-Finals. Representing the United Kingdom, Olly Alexander will perform his song ‘Dizzy’ in full for the first time on the Eurovision stage during the first Semi-Final on Tuesday 7 May.

Ten countries from each Semi-Final will win a place in the Grand Final on Saturday 11 May, where 26 acts will perform for their country. But only one can be crowned the new Eurovision champion.

The BBC’s Eurovision Song Contest 2024 coverage is a BBC Studios Entertainment production, commissioned by Kalpna Patel-Knight, Head of Entertainment at the BBC. The Executive Producers are Andrew Cartmell and Lee Smithurst. The Creative Director for BBC Studios Entertainment North is Pete Ogden and Suzy Lamb is the Managing Director of Entertainment & Music at BBC Studios. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Ruby Kuraishe.

• The Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals air on Tuesday 7 May and Thursday 9 May, at 8pm on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.

Source BBC One

May 7, 2024 4:00am ET by BBC One  


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