A Coronation, a King, a Crowning, and now a Contest…

Happy Eurovision week, everyone! In just seven days the next chapter in ESC history will have been written. But before that…

Gosh, what a weekend!

If all things coronation wasn’t your jam this weekend, fair play. For me it was. 

My undergraduate degree was BA (Hons) History with Communication Studies. I was a much better student of Communication Studies than I ever was History! That said I feel historical moments that are significant to me. The Coronation resonated for me as an historical moment, and at times I was very moved by it. Mind you, I cried during lockdown when there was that advert for McCain Home Chips, featuring the two dads and their kids. I’m a wee softie!

I realise as a graduate, I became estranged from the history part of my degree, focusing much more on the Communication Studies aspect – which eventually gave me my academic career in media theory related subjects (off the back of Comms Studies). And yet, a major part of being an academic teaching media theory, cultural studies and popular music studies is that they are all underpinned by history! 

What I did was leave the study of history behind me, to study the cultural industries and what I needed to know about them, historically. So perhaps you can take the History degree out of the lad, but you can’t take the lad out of history.

Away from the Coronation, it’s time for THE Contest!

And hey, I know the history of Eurovision that’s for sure! Some of which I am sure will be part of my commentary over the coming days – including a post on UK entries. What’s your favourite? Let me know! (email: [email protected]).

Whilst my euro-mojo has waned in recent years (I will not mention that again!), the ESC is important to me. It’s part of my year, it’s part of me, it’s part of me and my history.

I was fuming in 1988 when Switzerland’s representative Celine Dion beat the UK’s Scott Fitzgerald by just one point. And I think Sonia was robbed in 1993 to finish as runner-up – talk of which my Irish friend Brian Singleton will not entertain, as Ireland took the crown that year. 

As we eagerly anticipate two semi-finals this week (Tues and Thurs on BBC1 in the UK from 8pm) and then the grand final on Saturday 13 May, as Abba’s lyrics attest ‘the history book on the shelf is always repeating itself’. And so it will again this week, and the rituals of Eurovision will crown a new winner.

I think this year is a really good competitive year for songs (lucky that for a song contest!). There are a few hot faves for us to keep our eyes on: Sweden, Finland, Ukraine, and now France. And others. Let’s see where the week takes us!

I am heading into Liverpool on Monday, and I can’t wait to feel this part of ESC history – and I am sure it will be dead good!


Phil. x