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The boss of this year's Eurovision says Terry Wogan 'spoiled' the contest

But is it just a case of sour grapes?

THE PRODUCER OF this year’s Eurovision Song Contest has accused the late Terry Wogan of ruining the competition with his commentaries for the BBC.

Christer Bjorkman, who will helm next month’s contest in Stockholm, was responding to a question at an event in London on why people in Britain seemed to think the contest was frivolous.

“There are several reasons, one is Terry Wogan himself,” Bjorkman said, in comments first reported by the Mirror.

“He did this for 28 years and his ­commentary always forced the mockery side and there is a grown-up generation in Britain that doesn’t know anything better

“He raised a generation of viewers believing this was a fun kitsch show that had no relevance whatsoever.

“It totally spoiled Eurovision. Because of what Terry Wogan did, the UK don’t put in their best efforts.

But it’s the BBC who wanted him and let him, they did not stop him. He did his best and he did what he did very well, make fun of something, but if I would have been in charge I would never have chosen him.

Terry Wogan's final BBC breakfast show - London Source: PA WIRE

The beloved broadcaster, who died in January of this year, was known as the voice of Eurovision for millions of viewers – with many tuning in just to hear the Limerick-born presenter’s take on the contest.

His acerbic observations, however, sometimes didn’t go down to well on the continent (in 2001, for instance, he famously referred to the two Danish hosts as “doctor death and the tooth fairy”).

As you might imagine, people have been calling the timing of the Swede’s comments into question today, and leaping to the defence of Old Tel…

Then again – perhaps it’s just a case of sour grapes?

Bjorkman, a quick Google tells us, represented Sweden in the contest in 1992 – and didn’t fare too well at all.

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The winners that year?

song contest

Update: We asked earlier if anyone could track down what Terry had said about Bjorkman during the 1992 contest – and Stephen Heffernan found it on Youtube in no time at all… 

Source: escbelgium4/YouTube

The presenter hardly went for him. Probably his harshest observation was that the singer had “just a suspicion of Paddy Ashdown about him”. When the song ended Wogan noted (accurately) “I don’t think it’s a winner” adding: 

Christer’s a man for whom designer stubble never died. 

(Nicely done, Terry). 

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About the author:

Daragh Brophy

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