Not Another Eurovision (BBC1, 2002)
A while ago I was thinking again about one-off compilation shows that looked back at amusing moments from the TV archive. They were shown on BBC1, but they were usually in late-night slots and shown rather half-heartedly a while after they were made, which just makes them more curious to me. Among these was the Not Another… series, which was hosted by Angus Deayton.
I have already looked back at Not Another Awards Show, and I found another one from the series on YouTube. I planned to save the review of this one until it was time for The Eurovision Song Contest in May, but as it looks like that’s now not going to take place this year, I thought that I’d do it now instead. Again, Angus Deayton was the host. But there was just one problem.
The show was shortly after the scandal that led to Angus’s departure from Have I Got News For You after 12 years. Despite the stink that was still around him at the time, BBC1 pressed ahead with showing this one anyway, as it couldn’t really be postponed because it was designed to be shown the day before the contest. At one point he said “I’ve had my share of showbusiness embarrassments” without realising what an accurate statement that would be.
Not Another Eurovision (which was co-written by Deayton and Danny Baker) decided to look back at some classic highlights, it’s an event that is very easy to mock, which is presumably why they did it. The contest really is the chance for countries from across Europe to come together in a chance to see who is the best, or more often, who is the worst at producing pop music. For every Abba that took part, there was a big flop. It’s been providing us with some unusual sights since 1956.
It has to be said that the show didn’t really avoid the usual jokes that surround the contest, including the bemusement at Norway often scoring nothing (although it least this was made long before the UK started to finish last all the time), along with rather bizarre costumes, unimaginative lyrics, and impromptu bell ringing, it’s hardly the funky modern scene. At least it’s only once a year.
Angus did admit though that one of his highlights was a Spanish man getting overexcited by a banjo in 1977, that was shown more than once. And then of course we come to the non-musical elements, including the presentation, the interval acts, and the voting. They can all go wrong too. At least Not Another Eurovision was half-an-hour long, unlike the actual contest which can now go on for about 4½ hours.