Saturday, May 12, 2007

Eurovision Nige

Today - as I need hardly tell you, my friends in the blogosphere - is Eurovision Song Contest day. This extraordinary survival is television at its most consoling - in at least three ways. One is the sheer fact of its survival - it is almost the only living link we have with the innocent TV world of the 1950s (the other being the equally consoling, equally bonkers, but rather less accessible The Sky At Night with the inchoate mass that is Patrick Moore). Eurovision also does a grand job of reminding us of how comically inept Johnny Foreigner is, and, in particular, how entirely different from us are those unfortunate chaps stranded on the wrong side of the Channel. Anyone who ever thought a European Union that included us (or, indeed, any European Union) could possibly work, need only watch Eurovision to see just how wrong they are. And then, of course, underlying and subtly underscoring all this, is the superbly laconic commentary by the permanently (and understandably) aghast Terry Wogan.
Apologies to bloggers further afield than Europe if none of the above means a thing. Bear with me - the next bit might. Because Eurovision is also the most spectacularly, joyously camp of television events - and tonight it is the jewel in the crown of an astonishingly camp Saturday night schedule, following hot on the heels of that ongoing campfest Any Dream Will Do. Television is fast becoming a remarkably camp - and when not camp, at least feminised - medium. Saturday evenings are a regular battle between audition shows for (aargh) stage musicals (ITV's Grease Is The Word is only slightly less camp), the likes of Graham Norton and the ghastly Russell Brand are everywhere, Paul O'Grady chats and bitches daily on Ch4, where Ugly Betty keeps us entertained in the absence of Will & Grace. Less than a generation ago, the face of British TV was male, middle-aged going on elderly, besuited and avuncular. Now it is either female or campishly male, youngish, garishly dressed and as clueless as we are. O tempora, o mores, o that's enough of this... Enjoy Eurovision though - I shall be.


  1. If anyone ever doubted it camp is not just the new green, it's the new black as well.

    Am I alone in finding Wogan a bore? Added to which in March it was revealed he'd been paid to front the Children In Need charity TV show (the only presenter to be so rewarded). He was paid over £1,000 and hour for his seven hour stint on the show, on top of his £800K for fronting his breakfast show.

  2. Hats off to the man Wogan I say! Such blatancy is all too rare.

  3. You struck the sweet spot with this one, a beauty, Nige.
    While, the male of TV past, never struck me as one I could place facing the charge of a large well-hung bull, holding little more than a square of silk and a bigish toothpick. But to-day, one can more than see them try to dress the thing.

  4. Hats off to Wogan indeed, Nige. Another show-stealer of a performance ce soir.

    And by the good people of Eurupe. The last British Eurovision victory was in 1997, two days after Blair came to power.

    This evening - eerily - two days after his resignation, we are the second most-hated nation in Europe. Go figure. (I refuse to accept it's anything to do with the spine-tingling magnificence of Scooch's entry).

    Admittedly, I found it rather hard to concentrate after the Russian girlies.