When it was announced that Liverpool would host Eurovision, I was overjoyed, but also a little bit nervous. The city had never held an event of this size before. Would we be able to pull off the feat of hosting one of the biggest and most technically complex live television events in the world? Could the city’s infrastructure cope with a massive influx of visitors from all over the world? I hoped so, but a part of me was a litte bit worried.
My concerns were unfounded. Liverpool didn’t just host Eurovision, it embraced it and turned it into a week-long festival of joy. With a massive festival of public art running alongside the event, concerts and plays to entertain us, as if the massive festival of music itself wasn’t enough.
Continue reading “Euro-star”
Eurovision is being held in Liverpool, and it has been an amazing experience. The atmosphere in the city has been electric, with numerous events being held surrounding the contest ensuring that no-one is left out, even those who couldn’t get a ticket to the show itself.
Sadly, it all comes to an end today, but it will be a massive climax with the Grand Final at 8pm, live across Europe and beyond. 26 artists will compete on behalf of their country to secure the Eurovision crown and the honour of hosting next year.
Here are the ones I think you should watch out for.
Continue reading “Liverpool Vision”
Last week saw the series finale of Star Trek: Picard, a little over three years after the show premiered.
This post contains spoilers. Don’t read any further if you haven’t seen Picard season 3. There is also discussion of seasons 1 and 2.
Continue reading “Jean-Luc Back In Anger”
As Match of the Day goes out on BBC One, chopped to twenty minutes and with no studio punditry or even commentary on the action, here are some random thoughts on Gary Lineker’s tweet:-
- He is absolutely correct to point out similarities between the language being used now and that used in 1930s Germany.
- He is a sports presenter, so his views on issues outside of the sporting arena are irrelevant to his ability to do his job.
- Compare the reaction to that when Andrew Neil regularly spoke out on political matters, including calling Carole Cadwalladr a ‘crazy cat person’ after she exposed Brexit corruption.
- If Lineker had gone the other way and praised the government and its policies, there would have been no outrage and no suspensions – Tim Davie refused to deny this when asked about it earlier today. The BBC has capitulated to the right-wing ideologues again.
Lineker will be just fine whatever happens – his skills as a presenter and pundit will have him in high demand from sports channels. The BBC, I’m not so sure about. I cherish it and want to see it thrive, but it has lost its way on matters of impartiality and needs to have a good long rethink of its purpose and goals. A clearout of the Tories at the top couldn’t hurt either.
It’s been nearly four months since we got the fantastic news that Liverpool will host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine.
Things went a little bit quiet after that. There was the announcement of the production team, and a fantastic New Year’s Eve show with Sam Ryder showing just how Eurovision can boost an artist, if they want it. But if there was activity behind the scenes, not much of it was in the public eye.
Things kicked up a gear on Monday with the unveiling of the theme for this year’s contest, United by Music, and the logo and graphics, which combine the colours of the UK and Ukraine.
Continue reading “Liverpool calling”
As soon as it was announced that Eurovision 2023 would be hosted by the BBC, it was inevitable that Liverpool would throw its hat into the ring. As a city with such a great muscial pedigree, we were the obvious choice, right?
Maybe not. Even my most ardent Eurovision pals were sceptical of our bid. “It’ll be in Glasgow,” they all said, whenever I dared to dream of a Eurovision on the banks of the River Mersey. When the bids were narrowed down and Liverpool was in the final two, a lot of people seemed to be surprised that we had even made it that far.
And then, on Friday night, the final announcement came…
WE DID IT!
Continue reading “We are the winners of Eurovision!”
Note: I started writing this blog post last week. In the interim period, Netflix has decided, again, to provide a platform for obnoxious transphobia. My blog post is specifically about Heartstopper and nothing else, but I need to acknowledge that the platform that produced this beautiful programme is also pumping out some hacky anti-LGBTQ dreck.
The news that Heartstopper got renewed for two more seasons made my own heart skip for joy. The show, based on a series of graphic novels, based on a webcomic by Alice Oseman, has quickly become one of the most talked-about shows of 2022 so far.
For the uninitiated, Heartstopper follows Charlie, a gay teenager at an all-boys secondary school, who gets paired up with Nick, a boy from the year above. When Charlie joins Nick on the rugby team, a friendship quickly blossoms and develops into something deeper, as Nick is forced to confront his own sexuality.
Continue reading ““Hi.” “Hi.””
The FA Cup Final is today, but I am naturally more interested in the Gay FA Cup Final, namely Eurovision, which kicks off at 8pm tonight.
There’s lots of chatter about the UK’s entry this year. After several years of lacklustre performances, earning few points from either the jury or televote, the BBC has changed direction. This year, the UK has gone with an innovative, risky strategy of entering a decent song with a likeable performer. It seems to have paid off, as Space Man is actually being talked about as a possible winner. Sam Ryder immediately piqued my interest in his song by releasing a lyric video based on teletext, albeit fake teletext that was just unrealistic enough to annoy me.
But I don’t want to talk about the front-runners. No, I am far more interested in the poor artists who poured their heart and soul into their song and performance, only to get perfunctorily booted out at the semi-final stage. Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the performances that failed to get through because Europeans apparently wanted a load of tedious ballads instead.
Continue reading “Eurovision Wrong Contest”
I was rightly told off for posting this on Twitter, because it contained spoilers for Killing Eve. It was an honest mistake – I thought the series had finished, but it actually has one episode to go if you are watching weekly on linear TV.
So, if you have NOT finished watching the series, or are waiting for the final episode to be shown on BBC One rather than binging on iPlayer, STOP READING NOW!
Continue reading “The Shrine on Lord Street”
At the beginning of January, a story went around the news websites about a recreation of Ceefax. Nathan Dane, a broadcasting enthusiast and hero, has painstakingly recreated the erstwhile information service, using code that scrapes content from the BBC website and translates it into authentic, up-to-date teletext pages.
For the uninitiated, Ceefax was a teletext service, consisting of pages of information broadcast in the hidden parts of the TV signal on BBC1 and BBC2. A decoder in the TV set could convert this data into text and chunky graphics, selected by entering a three-digit page number on your TV remote.
If you want to view Ceefax redux, a web teletext viewer will render the pages in all their 7-colour, 40×25 text resolution glory. For the truly dedicated, it’s possible to connect a Raspberry Pi to your TV and generate a teletext signal, allowing you to view the service as God intended.
Continue reading “Fax the way (aha, aha) I like it”