BBC defends Eurovision after complaints ‘political’ show is a ‘waste of money’

The BBC has responded to complaints about Eurovision after viewers branded the ‘political’ singing show a ‘waste of money’.


The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest took place last weekend, watched by more than 7 million viewers in the UK.

UK entry James Newman finished in last place with his song Embers, receiving nil points from both the show’s jury and audience votes.

Following the final, the BBC says that it “received complaints from viewers who feel that the Eurovision Song Contest is political and a waste of the licence fee.”

In a response issued on its complaints page, the BBC wrote: “Ever since the Eurovision Song Contest first burst onto our television screens in 1956, the competition has continued to be staple springtime viewing for BBC audiences.

“The accusation that the contest’s voting is ‘political’ is nothing new. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is strongly committed to secure the fairness of the Eurovision Song Contest and has implemented a wide range of measures to ensure this.

“Eurovision is the most watched, live non-sporting event in the world and the 2021 Contest provided BBC viewers with over eight hours of content in three shows.


“The Grand Final on BBC One attracted an average of 7.4 million viewers. It is extremely cost effective for a popular prime time entertainment programme.”

Last week saw James speak out after his last place finish in the competition.

He told ITV’s Lorraine: “What can you do? We went there and we tried our hardest. I think we took the best of British. I was really happy with the song, really happy with the performance.

“But the best thing for me was how the crowd just went absolutely crazy when they said ‘nil points’ but the audience was cheering me, everyone was cheering me.”


He added: “Saturday was one of the best nights of my life. I sang in front of 200 million people and I got into music because I wanted to sing on stage to people and that was what I was doing. I got to work with all these amazing, talented people. No regrets at all.”

The result matched the UK’s last placed finish in 2019 while it was the first time we received ‘nul points’ since 2003.

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