BBC acknowledges public resentment over Eurovision 'fix'

It's sour grapes all round today, as a nation licks its wounds over another Eurovision defeat and Sam Sparro is beaten to No 1 by Madonna

Day 52 of the Eurovision Scandal and things are heating up. Actually, let's put that in context: by heating up, we mean the Mirror has devoted their letters page to whining missives about Eurovision. That's about 30 letters in total. So, quite big then. Or, at least, not that small.

The nature of the controversy, for those of you who have missed out, is simple. The United Kingdom came bottom in this year's competition and Terry Wogan believes it to be a travesty. Not just a travesty, but a fix orchestrated by eastern European countries voting for each other rather than for former binman Andy Abraham.

This, however, is a fix that the BBC appears to be happy with as they tell the Mirror this morning they have no plans to boycott the ceremony or, indeed, the £173,000 per annum they contribute to keeping the show on the road.

"We remain committed to the Eurovision song contest," a Beeb spokesperson confirms. "There is no question of it not running or not participating next year.

"However, we are going to pass on the comments and sentiment in the UK about this year's event."

This news should not really come as a surprise to anyone as a) the Beeb are unlikely to see this year's results in the same cataclysmic way as Mirror readers and b) the show still gets 10m viewers every year, which is nice for them.

In the news will, however, wait with bated breath to see how Europe responds when UK sentiment is related to the powers that be. Expect demands for the simultaneous translation into 26 languages of the phrase "sour grapes".

Is Sam Sparro a nice man? We ask this only because he appears to be this year's breakout pop star (by "breakout" we mean emerging, not that he's recently escaped from prison by digging his way out Shawshank Redemption-style) and, therefore, his very soul is now public property.

We also ask because he's been a bit catty about Madonna in the latest issue of Attitude magazine.

Here he lets rip: "Madonna is wretched at the moment - absolutely vulgar.

"Put it away - you're not young and sexy anymore.

"She went thoughtful and mature for a while and now she's chucked it away in some desperate attempt at being hot again. It's just a bit vile.

"I definitely think she's had some work done - like a recent facelift."

At the time of going to press we're unsure as to quite what sparked this tirade, other than - perhaps - the fact that Madonna's 4 Minutes kept Sparro from hitting the UK No 1. Anyway, we hope the Mirror turns over its letters page to a group of ranting fifty-somethings later this week.


Paul MacInnes

The GuardianTramp

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