Eurovision 2010: Pete Waterman to write UK Eurovision song
The BBC Press Office announced reasonably early this morning that Pete Waterman is the man behind the UK’s Eurovision song this year. Cue muffled gasps across the UK (and presumably some corners of Europe). It wasn’t Gary Barlow after all.
Two hours after the announcement was made, I remain dazed and confused.
Dazed because personal experience reminds me how unusual it is to find anyone at work at the BBC before 10am. Confused because I can’t recall when my heart took control over my brain which up until that point had told me getting up early to check the BBC Press Office website would be a pitifully sad thing to do. Something went wrong there somewhere.
Nothing’s wrong with Waterman’s standing shoulder to shoulder with the BBC for Eurovision however – assuming he didn’t need to be cajoled into doing so.
While other people are asking whether Waterman will write the song or produce it or both, my cynicism demands all sorts of checks and balances before I’m absolutely convinced about his hands-on involvement. If he’s actually going to do some writing then I need a live feed of a webcam trained on his piano to provide me with the necessary proof. I am a cynical old queen. It’s worth making a mental note of that.
My initial reaction this morning as I stood munching on my toast centred on feeling distinctly underwhelmed. A few hours later however and I feel like I’ve just come out of a meeting where the pitch made sense, the budget was realistic and everything else sounded eminently sensible. I might have hoped to be leaping up and down, instead I’m just nodding and saying “OK then. What’s the timescale?”
The thing is that this is all about three minutes of television. Television programmes need viewers. Viewers need a reason to tune in. They need to have a simple, memorable hook to bring them back to the next programme. And for a lot of thirtysomething+ individuals who should know better, the name Pete Waterman provides that very hook.
The need for musical analysis still remains but that comes later. Until we hear the song for the first time however, I’m feeling reassured that a suitable rubber-stamp has been slapped on the file marked “UK Eurovision Attempt 2010”.
At the very least, Waterman does have extensive business experience to mount a reasonably effective PR campaign. It’s one thing writing a song, quite another distributing it. Waterman’s reputation is based on successfully combining the two, serving up what his target audience wants and reaping the profits. And on that basis he bodes well for the UK at Eurovision.
Just don’t mention the fact you’re a railway enthusiast luv.