All eyes on Europe!

Well, the day has finally arrived; the 60th Eurovision Song Contest is upon us! This year’s contest is hotly tipped to be a close race between favourites Sweden, Italy, Australia or Russia. I really hope the voting is close, we need some Eurovision drama!

Love or loath it, Eurovision is an incredibly impressive television format that has truly stood the test of time. Pop culture is an important element of our social world and Eurovision, like the UEFA Football Championships, reminds us British that we are in fact European! Eurovision may well prove an important vehicle for that identity in the coming years as we move towards a referendum on the EU. I think we may need Eurovision more than ever.

Today is also an incredibly important day for Ireland – the country has made history by becoming the first country to pass equal marriage by referendum.  This is a huge milestone in LGBT equality in a country that only decriminalised homosexuality in 1993. I’m hugely humbled and proud of my Irish friends, many of whom travelled from Vienna to vote and then travelled back to the contest. I salute you and your wonderful country – love always wins!

I am now back in the UK after a whirlwind trip to Vienna. It’s been a busy few days but one of the highlights for me was presenting a special feature for Newsround. I was a huge fan of the show as a kid and it was an absolute honour to be asked. You can watch the video here.

Enjoy the show tonight and good luck to Electro Velvet! I’m off to Nicki French’s party to celebrate what is a unique event in the television year. Let the 60th Eurovision Song Contest begin!!

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