Some thoughts ahead of Eurovision 2019

They call Tel Aviv the bubble, and you can totally see why. Amazing weather, the most beautiful people, and gorgeous beaches. It’s a real party town -you would hardly believe you’re in the Middle East.

Calls for boycotts, discussions of the political situation in the country – Eurovision in Israel was never going to be without controversy.

Having Eurovision in Tel Aviv is not an endorsement of the Israeli government. If Israel, like any other country, wants to stand on the world stage, then it is up for scrutiny, which is right and proper. It’s also important that we are having a conversation about the political situation in the country – and that is partly due to Eurovision being there.

Also worth remembering that Israel is a democracy and the only country in the Middle East where it is legal to be gay.   

Calls for boycotts are not in the spirit of the event – and we also can’t judge people by their governments. There are plenty of Israelis who don’t agree with current policies – and indeed in Tel Aviv I saw a pro-Palestinian protest.

We should perhaps also think of the UK’s own historical role in all of this…

Eurovision is important – and needed. We live in troubled times and yet this event is a bit of escapism. It also brings people together – even if they don’t necessarily like the music. For a TV format which is more than 60 years old, that’s remarkable.

It’s a truly unique event and it’s been a privilege to be a part of it.

As a TV production it is truly world class. I also wish the critics knew how hard the people who are behind it work.

With a slightly different voting format and a range of songs, the Grand Final looks set to be an interesting one for sure.

Happy Eurovision to one and all!

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