Blaise Tapp: A betrayal of mankind...I like Eurovision

TRIUMPH: Ukraines Jamala celebrates after winning last years Eurovision Song Contest.
TRIUMPH: Ukraines Jamala celebrates after winning last years Eurovision Song Contest.
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Confession time: for a good 30 years now I have been harbouring a secret, one which threatens to expose me to ridicule for many years to come.

Some folk lead double lives, where they are Steve during the week and Shirley on Saturdays and Sundays, while others
have a sneaky tattoo which not even their own mother knows about.

But my particular secret cross to bear is not something which will end my marriage and see me sleeping in the Volkswagen and eating Quavers for breakfast but it is likely to change the way that many see me.

I will just come out and say it: I am a bit of a closet fan of the Eurovision Song Contest and consider it essential viewing. I realise that this is viewed by some as a betrayal of mankind and is likely to lead to me being given the cold shoulder next time I order a pint of Best and two packets of pork scratchings.

But what can I say, I love nothing more than listening to a tone deaf Croat warbling in their mother tongue and it beats watching Casualty. Eurovision presents the viewer with a free pass to another world, a place where we can escape our woes for at least three hours once a year.

It is a show unlike any other where the acts vary between the banal and the outrageous and, occasionally, can also be described as being ‘quite good’. For as long as I can remember, it has become the norm to dismiss the contest as garbage and very few of my peers will admit to watching it.

Yet there aren’t many red blooded blokes who won’t smile slyly when you use the words ‘Polish’ and ‘milkmaid’ in the sentence as they will all remember that infamously saucy performance from three years ago.

But the trouble is, it really isn’t what it used to be - it seems to be bigger than it was in the analogue days of the 1980s, which requires greater dedication from even the most ardent of Eurovision fanatics.

There was a time when I enjoyed the voting more than I did the music but that novelty is beginning to wear off, largely due to the fact that I generally lose interest after the third votes have been announced and it becomes clear to all that the UK will, once again, finish way off the pace, sandwiched somewhere between Luxembourg and Belarus.

As much as you may snigger at the vacant expressions on the faces of the local celebrities who briefly act as the voice of the nation it can all become a tad tedious when you realise that we haven’t got a cat in hell’s of sticking it to the French.

There was a time when we were the true kings and queens of this kitsch fest but we haven’t taken the top prize since 1997, when the nation was riding the crest of Tony Blair’s wave of fresh faced optimism.

It wouldn’t matter a jot if we got Adele to represent us on the European stage - we have less chance of winning than Diane Abbott has of taking Rachel Riley’s job on Countdown.

There have been predictions that this year’s UK entry for Kiev’s final on Saturday will bomb.

Now that Brexit is a reality, we may aswell quit while we can. It may well be that my days of Eurovision bliss could be coming to an end.

PIC: James Hardisty

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