Tag Archives: Graham Norton

Jaja ding dong

It’s when you discover that the other two watching the film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga with you are elf deniers, that you realise you didn’t know them. And whatever they say after to rectify their status is just too late.

Clearly the elves were not only real, but their presence in the film meant they had something to add to the plot other than for people to scoff. How could Iceland win Eurovision without them? (Maybe even with them would be too impossible, but you never know.)

Anyway. As so many have said online, it was a nice film. Really funny, true to the spirit of Eurovision, offering good Icelandic scenery and using the handful of actors who appear in everything made in or for Iceland. Lots of Eurovisiony songs, mostly enjoyable, and none too awful (unlike in real life).

It is the story of the once young Lars Erickssong and his possibly sister, possibly not, Sigrit Ericksdottir, who have always wanted to sing for Iceland [and win]. While it was a bit painful to hear the younger father of Lars, played by Pierce Brosnan, speak Icelandic, it got a lot better once they all spoke in accented English, as though most of the actors weren’t already native English speakers.

A bit gruesome at one point, it is mostly very funny. Lars and Sigrit obviously make it to Eurovision in Edinburgh, mostly filmed in Glasgow, except for the improbable car race near Edinburgh Castle. Because it’s how we drive here.

Dan Stevens is excellent as the rich Russian, and the cameos of ‘real’ Eurovision singers such as Conchita Wurst and Netta Barzilai and Alexander Rybak make for a fun moment.

And I have always known Mikael Persbrandt to be a bad one.

I’d quite like an album of the songs, but if I can only have one, it would have to be Jaja ding dong, which is the favourite of the locals in their home pub. Very more-ish that is. You can play it over and over again.

A Euro-evening with Mr Norton

We should have more of this. It was actually both fun and enjoyable. Unless that’s the same thing?

Last night’s replacement for Eurovision was far better than the real deal. I’d thought it would be, but it was good to be proven right. There was no avoiding Graham Norton, or Mr Norton, as he was addressed by the polite ladies in Rotterdam.

He behaved much better, most of the time. (But there is still room for improvement.) First we had the reminiscing of the past, playing an odd and partly predictable selection of oldies and occasionally goldies from the last 60+ years of Eurovision. It was nice to see [some of] them again. I remembered what my problem with ABBA in 1974 had been. Embarrassingly large group, embarrassing clothes, and the surprise of them suddenly singing in English. Plus the winning, except that wasn’t bad so much as a surprise. Katie Boyle looked like Mrs Thatcher’s prettier sister.

And then they won again, in Saturday’s ‘contest’. Daughter was torn between ABBA and Måns Zelmerlöw but luckily she was allowed to vote for more than one.

Then came the more ‘real’ Eurovision, with two hours of this year’s hopefuls, directed by three nice people in Rotterdam. It was lovely! I feel I got to know them so much better than through the ‘postcards’ they usually have. We saw many of them in their homes, and we enjoyed counting the pieces of IKEA furniture, or noting who seemed to have none.

We fell in love a couple of times; the lovely young Italian man and the charming cheeky chap in Austria among them. We’d not have seen any of this without the worldwide calamity that caused the change of programme.

Björn Ulvaeus appeared and spoke wise words as Eurovision’s grand old man. We discovered a UK winner from 1997 that neither of us remembers ever having heard or seen. It was good. And wow, hearing it sung by all the 2020 singers at the end..! Discovered a UK non-winner wearing an interesting dress, or vest, as I would call it. Again, a good song.

To finish a great evening, we had an hour of Eurovision A to Z presented by someone who looked like a Russian millionaire, with good teeth. That was fun, too. More memories to be revisited, and new ones made.

Four and a half hours later we rose from our armchairs, with some difficulty. Even the Resident IT Consultant had remained, and looked like he enjoyed it too. That’s never happened before.

Eurovision 2018

Strobe lighting. Eurovision was better without it. I can close my eyes as well as the next witch. But when I do, and especially at this time of night, the inevitable becomes, well, inevitable, and I fall asleep.

Daughter was saying she liked the German entry, and I was puzzled, not having noticed it. I dozed off with Serbia and completely missed Germany.

So what do I think? I liked Ireland. Norway wasn’t bad, and Spain got better for each short repeat. I liked Slovenia’s hair, and Finland’s outfit. France was OK, and that’s something I don’t often say. The vampire needed an interpreter. Or did he?

Didn’t mind who won out of Cyprus and Israel. I disliked both. And Daughter was somewhat scandalised at my negative view of the Swedish entry. Well, it did nothing for me. And if the singer is who Daughter reported him to be, then he’s part of a dynasty, and as such is successful enough as it is.

It was fun to see Daniela Ruah not wrestling people to the ground, or shooting them, even if her first dress was rather ghastly. Although, where was Kensi when ‘our’ SuRie was attacked? A good wrestling to the floor would have been useful.

And Graham Norton is tiresomely not Terry Wogan.

Eurovision 2014

Well, let’ see how long I last ‘live blogging’ this year’s Eurovision. No promises that I will reach the end.

It looked promising at first. After ten minutes all 26 countries had marched onto the stage and off again. That was the quickest of all. But it appears they expect to actually sing, as well.

So far I’ve noticed the bearded lady and the baking ladies, and am not impressed by either. What’s wrong with a plain singing a song contest?

But at least we have ‘Kasper’ to entertain us. Except the presenters don’t come into their own until the dreaded chat with all of ‘Europe.’

Number three looks nice enough, but is showing a lot of bottom where her dress ends prematurely. The Resident IT Consultant enjoyed seeing a view from Iceland that he’d actually visited. (I hasten to add I didn’t mean the lady’s behind.) Glad there was something for him too. Graham Norton is clearly not enjoying himself. Again.

Man number five looks the same as number two. Belarus, Norway, what’s the difference? Why have the green room in front of the audience? Green rooms are for participants to relax, go to the toilet, and so on. It’d be my worst nightmare to green room it in front of everyone.

Receiving flak on facebook for not liking this enough. Surely it used to be more fun? Or am I simply growing old?

Spectacular Polish hair. Spectacular other assets too. And I don’t care what anyone says, but I don’t like bearded ladies. Song is OK. And the audience appreciation managed to drown out Graham Norton’s voice. Do that again, please. Thank you Nikolaj Koppel. You may speak and silence GN.

The Grandmother is sorting her drugs, but I can still hear the Swedish song above the crackling blister packs. Not bad. Sweden knows how to song contest.

Practical joke played on the Russian twins. Someone tied their hair together. Or not. Do I have time to go empty the dishwasher? Yes. All done. The good thing about stopping watching is that you can just listen to the songs. On that basis I liked the Finnish entry.

The rain from Spain… Cute Swiss guy. Just saying. The Resident IT Consultant has just gone out for a walk. I suppose he watches better from a distance too.

Why the surprise that Malta could be any good? GN? Small is good. And the official website collapsed. Denmark, hmm. Their flag was better than the song. Dutch singers very retro. GN likes their song. So do I.

San Marino is unusual, at least. Smaller than small. Which just leaves British Molly. (The Resident IT Consultant wondered if people would vote for a free Scottish entry, next year.) Nice double deckers. The song isn’t an embarrassment, which must be a first for many years.

Pilou insults GN. Thank you, Kasper! Tak!

Now we have Mozart up a ladder… Singing hosts. Whatever next? Results would be good. Preferably instant ones. Mini Maltese junior winner. They can sing in Malta.

Curly wurly cake? Honestly.

Votes. Booing? Really? Need to remind the Europe correspondents not to make speeches. Hilversum. Reminds me of my old radio. It’s getting exciting. I don’t believe Sweden needs another win. Let’s give it to Austria.

Was going to ask if anyone actually still speaks French. The French do. Most of the other people speak several languages. They sing the votes. Austria doing well. La la la.

I suppose it’ll be Austria or the Netherlands. Conchita wins. Congratulations to her. Him. Both of them. Just goes to show we all love a beard. (Within reason.)

Eurovision Song Contest 2011

Eric Saade, Sweden

Don’t get all excited. I have nothing terribly deep to say about this. Poor Daughter ‘had to’ attend a friend’s 18th birthday, but left early to watch on the box, two hours behind everyone else. It felt slightly weird to sit down to listen to the songs when most of the world was almost at the nul points point.

Can’t say there was much to get excited about this year. Didn’t think much of the Swedish song when I first heard it in February, but it was surprisingly good compared to many. Would like to know what that Graham Norton meant when he said we’d smile (or was it laugh?) when Jedward came on. We hoped for the best, but found nothing to smile about. The fact they didn’t win was a relief, but he won’t have known about that.

Graham’s commentary was enough to make you wish Terry Wogan would return from the dead. What’s that? He’s not dead? In that case, what’s he doing not being on the programme?

They all seemed to sing standing or generally cavorting on some kind of weird, large plastic button. Some songs were better than others. I have reached the stage where I don’t keep track of songs, so can’t say if there was one I preferred. Not Azerbaijan, that’s for certain.

Whereas it’s good that performers are now more fully dressed than they used to be, to wear your trousers down at knee level is so not an attractive look. Just saying.

The good thing with watching a recording was that even Daughter got too tired to stay up until the bitter end. I was fascinated by Twitter and Facebook, as everybody were all so far ahead. When Daughter asked did I know who’d won, I said yes, and she said to tell her and that way she could go to bed.

This shortened the night by at least 90 minutes.

The other thing about Twitter was surprise at who actually watches, and that they don’t mind admitting it. And I speak as someone who doesn’t think Eurovision is a joke.

Yet.

They should have known

On the basis of hearing only the quick run-through of the Eurovision contestants, I quite liked Norway’s entry. I didn’t waste all evening on this event by watching every minute. But that doesn’t mean I don’t take it seriously. After all, I’m not British.

If and when Britain can be serious about Eurovision, they will most likely do well, or at least better, again. Winning is not a God-given right. And I feel that Terry Wogan took being rude about Eurovision a little more seriously than Graham Norton did. He didn’t even seem to twig when the FYR Macedonian vote lady spoke pretty good Australian. Did anyone notice that the male Norwegian presenter could also speak Icelandic? Or the excellence of the Greek vote person’s Norwegian? It’s such a happy multi-language talent event!

And does anyone sit around making snide remarks on live television quite like the British commentator? Not even sure he’s aware of any old history between the host country and the winning country, but never mind that, eh?

Very pleased for the German winner. Maybe they should have warned contestants that if they win, they need to sing their blasted song again. As did Spain. Didn’t think much of the clowns.

Although watching the whole thing (well, not the whole thing as I said earlier, but all that I did watch) in Sweden, I watched the BBC version. For technical reasons. Son’s English Uppsala neighbour had gone off to Norway to watch it live. Good for him.

How many of you spotted the Norwegian Crown Princess and her children cavorting around, while the cameras panned all over the world, showing us people who were having a good time?

We agreed at the end that we like the Eurovision tune the best, and you don’t hear it nearly enough in the UK.