September 2009 Archives
In a move which the organisers of London 2012 will no doubt sympathise with, the original plan of spending 150m Norwegian kroner (about ÃÂ£16m) on the event has now been upped to 211m Norwegian kroner (about ÃÂ£22m).
It's still not quite as much as Russia spent on this year's show - and we're sure the Norwegians have a few sneaky barrels of oil knocking about they could sell to raise the extra cash, but it looks like our chums in Oslo are planning a spectacular show.
Still no news on when tickets go on sale, but Boom Bang a Blog has its virtual fingers crossed that we'll be among the people in the crowd at the Fornebu Arena on the big night. Here's hoping.
According to this report, Leichtenstein could be announced as a late entrant in Oslo next year if the tiny nation's admission to the European Broadcasting Union is approved at the end of the year. It also seems the entrant will have to be either from, or have close links with, the country in question if it all goes ahead. Are you reading this, Luxembourg?
The opening sequence of Eurovision 1982 - can you guess where Harrogate is?
Perhaps it was because this was the seventh time Britain had hosted the Contest in 22 years and the novelty had worn off. Perhaps it was because money was scarce in 1982. Perhaps it just hasn't aged very well - but there isn't a lot to get excited about when considering Eurovision 1982.
Perhaps that's because it was held in such a tiny venue. The Harrogate Conference Centre (pictured) opened in North Yorkshire shortly before the event and was an ultra modern facility for its time. Ideal, perhaps, for hosting a symposium on cork flooring or the AGM of Balloon Benders UK, but in hindsight, not for an event like Eurovision, which needs to loom large on the screen. The show ended up looking like a glorified Song For Europe, with a stage that was half Top of the Pops, half Pebble Mill at One.
When compiling the Bluffer's Guide to Eurovision 1975, there was so much good stuff to talk about, I foolishly neglected to mention the song which finished third that year, the very of-its-time Era, performed by American singer Wess and his rather beautiful female colleague Dori Ghezzi.
It's only right to redress the balance, but in the saddest of circumstances. Wess, born Wesley Johnson, died last week at his New York home aged 64.
We'd like to pay our respects to Wess's family, as well as showing you why he and his blonde chum did so well in Stockholm 34 years ago.
Our Girl in Moscow could put the solo career on hold to replace departing 'Babe Amelle Berrabah according to this report here.
However, according to this report here - the whole story is a load of hogwash.
Interesting stuff - but it's also an indication that Jade's solo career post Eurovision hasn't been much to get excited about. Which is a bit of a shame.
UPDATE: It was confirmed this morning that Jade IS a new Sugababe, but taking over from the only remaining original member, Keisha Buchanan and not Amella Berrabah. What do you think? The Sugababes are getting more and more unpopular with each passing album - is it a wise move on Jade's part to sign up?
The European Broadcasting Union investigated the incident, which appears to fly in the face of the spirit of the event, and has released this statement:
The EBU committee responsible for running the Eurovision Song Contest, the so-called Reference Group, examined the matter at a meeting in Oslo on 11 September 2009 and decided to amend the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest to hold the participating broadcaster strictly liable for any disclosure of information which could be used to identify voters*. The new rule aims to ensure that voters' privacy is respected, and if it is not the EBU will be in a position to impose appropriate sanctions on the offending broadcaster.
* The regulations governing the previous editions of the Eurovision Song Contest imposed an obligation on the telecom companies involved in the televoting to respect the privacy of the voters. However, the EBU does not have an ability to impose sanctions on them, therefore the new rule was developed.
So basically, they've been told not to do it again - or next time, there'll be a rule in place to stop 'em.
As you may have already read, Israel had won both the 1978 and 1979 Contests, but when the Netherlands stepped in to host as a favour to the cash-strapped Israeli Broadcasting Authority, they inadvertently scheduled Eurovision for a date when the trophy holders remembered their fallen and couldn't possibly take part.
With the country who had had a stranglehold on the results at the end of the '70s now absent, there was a clear run for everyone else involved. Although, 'I' would continue to be a lucky initial for Eurovision's winner for the third year running.
With stepping in at relatively short notice, the Dutch production was nowehere near as grand as it had been in 1976. With The Hague's Congresgebouw (pictured, above) being used once more, part of the opening travelogue film from four years previous - featuring beckoning hands welcoming allcomers to Den Haag - was recycled to save a few gelder. While only those with long-term photographic memories would have made the connection in 1980, it's a bit easier to spot in the era of videos, DVD and a certain file-sharing website.
Intriguing news from one of Boom Bang a Blog's Hull-based correspondents.
This year's UK entrant, Jade Ewen, was at this event at the weekend, where the line-up also included recently nodded-to 1979 competitors Black Lace.
Despite Jade bursting forth onto the world stage with It's My Time via Your Country Needs You, Ms Ewen didn't perform it at the show (fair enough, she's not obliged to), but introduced the song she did perform, My Man, as her first single.
First? First? Are we missing something here? This sounds more like a record company banning Jade from mentioning the 'E' word than anything else, but then again, a fair few of the crowd that day would have turned out to see her based on that brief sojourn to Russia four months ago.
Thanks a bucketload or five to Boom Bang a Blog reader Darrell Frye, who has answered my question about what the miggins was going on in the postcard film that preceded the German entry at Eurovision 1979. To refresh your memory, it showed two rascals on the roof of a cottage, dangling a fishing rod down a chimney. You can see it for yourself at the beginning of this clip here.
It turns out it's a reference to the hugely popular German children's book, Max and Moritz, which tells of seven pranks performed by a pair of very naughty young pups.
Therefore, the Israeli mime artistes were performing the second of the seven tricks described in the book, which dates back to 1865.
Second Trick: The Widow II As the widow cooks her chickens, the boys sneak onto her roof. When she leaves her kitchen momentarily, the boys steal the chickens using a fishing pole down the chimney. The widow hears her dog barking and hurries upstairs, finds the hearth empty and beats the dog.
Y'see, Eurovision's not all daft pop, there's some European children's literature to learn about too. You can find out more about Max and Moritz's behaviour, which would no doubt earn them as ASBO today, right here.