Yes, it’s around 12 hours long, its politics are questionable at best, and it hasn’t been quite the same since Terry Wogan deserted his post, but – like a mad, be-sequinned auntie – we can’t help loving the Eurovision Song Contest. And here's why...
1. The Costumes!
The Contest is the only cure for our sequin lust between seasons of Strictly Come Dancing. Plus – whatever the weather – we get to wear our sunnies indoors to protect our delicate peepers from the glare. Spangle-blindness – it’s a real condition, people. Previous outfit inspirations has stemmed from everywhere, including Xena Warrior Princess; foil-wrapped sandwiches and whatever this was.
2. The Campness!
The one night of the year where Graham Norton is the least camp element of any programme – it’s pretty much guaranteed there’ll be at least one entry made up of a gang of drag queens each year – this time we’re looking forward to Austria’s bearded entrant Conchita Wurst.
3. The Surprises!
Where else could a Finnish, mask-clad, One Directioners’ worst nightmare metal band actually WIN an international competition? Or six Russian grandmothers take to the stage for a medley of singing (“Party for Everybody” – as if you’d forgotten!) and bread baking? And that’s without mentioning Vogue-ing Latvian pirates, disco Genghis Khan or a turkey puppet called Dustin. It's a veritable Kinder Egg of television surprise.
4. The Drinking Game!
Our house rules involve taking a sip (or a shot if you live near an A&E department)for the following: key changes; every time Graham Norton chuckles at his own joke; pyrotechnics; backing dancers on stilts; biased voting; shoulder pads on result presenters…and a few other things which seem a bit hazy now.
5. The Nostalgia!
What better way to while away the voting time than watching clips of Bucks Fizz, a young Celine Dion, Love City Groove, Gina G, ABBA, Blue, Jedward et al?
6. The Results!
We love the distinct cultural differences that only the volume of shoulder-padding can betray – and there’s no finer annual display of this than in the presenters each country chooses to read the results. Plus it's fun to guess the least-likely UK announcer, we’re rooting for Daniel Craig this year.
7. The Fact That We Won’t Win!
Of course we won’t! And that’s fine. It’s like mum always said: “It’s the taking part and watching pirate-costumed drag queens on unicycles that counts.”
The Eurovision Song Contest is on BBC1 on May 10th