Here's who would have competed in Eurovision this year and how to watch the BBC’s coverage

Monday, 11th May 2020, 3:15 pm
Updated Monday, 11th May 2020, 3:15 pm

The 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest had been set to take place in May, with entries from 41 countries participating.

The  contest was supposed to take place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, with two semi-finals on May 12 and 14 followed by the final at the Rotterdam Ahoy arena on May 16.

But the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) confirmed in March that the event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They said in a statement: "It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam.

"Over the past few weeks we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead.

"However the uncertainty created by the spread of Covid-19 throughout Europe - and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities - means the European Broadcasting Union has taken the difficult decision that it is impossible to continue with the live event as planned."

Who was the UK’s entrant?

James Newman had been the UK's entry and was hoping his track 'My Last Breath' could bring success.

Newman is one of the UK’s most successful songwriters, having penned several multi-platinum selling records and been nominated for a slew of awards.

He won the Brit Award for British Single of the Year in 2014 for his chart-topping song, ‘Waiting All Night’, performed by Rudimental and Ella Eyre.

Who else was meant to be competing?

Ken Bruce will be bringing listeners “Virtual Eurovision” on Radio 2, playing tracks from Eurovision 2020 and featuring some of the best of this year's entries which sadly won't get to take part in the final.

He’ll also be hearing from previous years' stars and past winners reminiscing about their memories.

The full list of entrants who were due to perform is as follows:

  •  Australia: Montaigne – ‘Don't Break Me’
  •  Belarus: VAL – ‘Da vidna’
  •  Ireland: Lesley Roy – ‘Story of my Life’
  •  Lithuania: The Roop – ‘On Fire’
  •  North Macedonia: Vasil – ‘You’
  •  Russia: Little Big – ‘Uno’
  •  Slovenia: Ana Soklič – ‘Voda’
  •  Sweden: The Mamas – ‘Move’
  •  Azerbaijan: Efendi – ‘Cleopatra’
  •  Belgium: Hooverphonic – ‘Release Me’
  •  Croatia: Damir Kedžo – ‘Divlji vjetre’
  •  Cyprus: Sandro – ‘Running’
  •  Israel: Eden Alene – ‘Feker libi’
  •  Malta: Destiny – ‘All of My Love’
  •  Norway: Ulrikke – ‘Attention’
  •  Romania: Roxen – ‘Alcohol You’
  •  Ukraine: Go_A – ‘Solovey’
  •  Austria: Vincent Bueno"Alive’
  •  Czech Republic: Benny Cristo – ‘Kemama’
  •  Estonia: Uku Suviste – ‘What Love Is’
  •  Greece: Stefania – ‘Supergirl’
  •  Iceland: Daði og Gagnamagnið – ‘Think About Things’
  •  Moldova: Natalia Gordienko – ‘Prison’
  •  Poland: Alicja – ‘Empires’
  •  San Marino: Senhit – ‘Freaky!’
  •  Serbia: Hurricane – ‘Hasta la vista’
  •  Albania: Arilena Ara – ‘Fall from the Sky’
  •  Armenia: Athena Manoukian – ‘Chains on You’
  •  Bulgaria: Victoria – ‘Tears Getting Sober’
  •  Denmark: Ben & Tan – ‘Yes’
  •  Finland: Aksel – ‘Looking Back’
  •  Georgia: Tornike Kipiani – ‘Take Me as I Am’
  •  Latvia: Samanta Tīna – ‘Still Breathing’
  •  Portugal: Elisa – ‘Medo de sentir’
  •  Switzerland: Gjon's Tears – ‘Répondez-moi’

What’s on instead?

All is not lost for Eurovision fans, and the BBC have come to the rescue and scheduled a raft of programmes designed to bring the joy of Eurovision to living rooms even without the live show.

They’re promising “plenty” of Eurovision content across TV, radio and online in celebration of the biggest music competition in the world.

Usual host Graham Norton will be joined by celeb fans of the competition to present a series of programmes to keep us all in high spirits, from special programmes celebrating this year’s contest, to revisiting classic moments and a host of themed programmes and archival goodies.

Familiar faces including Graham Norton, Ken Bruce and Rylan Clark-Neal will bring Eurovision into homes.

“This year people at home can celebrate the amazing spirit of the event and hopefully get the chance to take their mind off the current situation for a few hours,” said Norton.

“Eurovision offers a real escapism for people, which is something we need more than ever throughout these times.”

Rylan will be fronting The A-Z Of Eurovision and Eurovision Kings And Queens Of Pop, and the presenter says he is “looking forward to leaving the current situation behind for a night of pure Eurovision gold!”

The full list of BBC shows replacing the cancelled song contest is as follows:

  • Eurovision 2020 - The Cancelled Coronavirus Year – Monday 11 May, BBC iPlayer
  • Eurovision at 60 – Friday 15 May, 9:30pm, BBC4
  • Dana - The Original Derry Girl – Friday 15 May, 11pm, BBC4
  • Eurovision Come Together – Saturday 16 May, 6:30pm, BBC1
  • Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light – Saturday 16 May, 8pm, BBC1
  • The A-Z of Eurovision – Saturday 16 May, 10pm, BBC2
  • TOTP2 Goes Eurovision! – Saturday 16 May, 11pm, BBC2