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How the UK’s smug attitude to Eurovision anticipated Brexit

We don’t put in the effort but still think we should be beating the Europeans

By Keith Kahn-Harris  
Best of British? Bonnie Tyler representing the UK performing during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmo, Sweden. Credit: Alamy

Best of British? Bonnie Tyler representing the UK performing during the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmo, Sweden. Credit: Alamy

However much some on the right portray the BBC as a nest of elitist Remainers, its approach to the Eurovision song contest is—and has been for many years—absolutely attuned to the Brexit zeitgeist.

I’m not talking here about the network’s coverage of the contest itself. Anchored since 2009 by Graham Norton, the BBC treats it with a mixture of affectionate mockery and unabashed love. Unlike the late Terry Wogan, who in his last years as commentator seemed to be descending into bewildered xenophobia, Norton hits that sweet spot between laughing at the most obviously ridiculous entries, while also…

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