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Diary: Your Country Needs You

January 3, 2009

I know as I write this that nearly everyone else who can be bothered will almost certainly be writing about the man announced as the eleventh Doctor.

Thus far – trawling the text messages, twitter updates and Facebook comments on the subject – opinion seems to be mixed on Mat Smith’s appointment.

Personally, my initial assessment that he should get his haircut like I was the moment my friend Peter texted me to tell me seems a little rash. He could be quite an interesting chap. Can’t wait. Roll on 2010.

I’m feeling torn, however. As big and exciting and strangely overwhelming this piece of entertainment news has been (and believe me, I have been swept along by announcements and anticipation and fear and loathing and anxiety and the rest of it), my attention is fixed firmly on another programme going out on BBC One later this evening.

In fact, it’s only twenty or so minutes away before the UK Eurovision bus gets underway in the first installment for Your Country Needs You.

Sometimes I tut and sigh when I realise that pretty much the only things I write about are things on TV. Can’t I find other inspiration from another source?

The answer is no. Eurovision is a subject close to my heart. Eurovision is a TV show which guarantees to deliver anticipation, joy, excitement, hope, fear and (if the past few years are anything to go by) intense feelings of disappointment. Fortunately these feelings have not been inflicted on anyone close to me.

The point is, that the hideous sack of emotions which accompanies the Eurovision season (Will we stand a chance this year? Could we do it? Could we possibly get a chance to host it again next year? Will we have a decent song? Will we have a decent performer? Will we come last? Will I still enjoy it?) normally starts around about March time. There’s normally a lull around about the beginning of April before the run up to the main event starts in earnest in mid-April. That’s when the endless nights spent gnawing at my own fingernails and making copious notes and thinking and dreaming and whatever else starts.

It’s agony. Just ask the significant other. He’ll tell you.

This year it’s set to be a whole lot worse. The UK Eurovision bus sets off this evening. And you might as well know that I’m absolutely petrified.

Sad isn’t it. It’s just a TV show. It’s just a talent search. It’s a talent search for someone to represent the UK in a European “talent” search or “show contest”. That individual or group will have a mere 3 minutes to sell their wares to the voting public and expert juries across Europe in May. All we’re talking about is finding someone to do something for three minutes in a bid to win the event, host the event in the UK the following year and thus keep Jon Jacob happy and quiet for the forseeable future.

What’s the big deal? Why is it so important Jacob?

I have absolutely no idea.

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