… What with the ‘second screen’ being very much the in thing of this year’s Eurovision, I have just remembered the following section from the Answer Me This book. I have reproduced it here without asking the publishers, but, hey, we wrote it, and this is the bloody internet. We based it on our experience of watching previous contests, so why not refer to it tonight and let’s see how many we get right.

Acatia from Bar Hill: Helen and Olly, Answer Me This: Are there actually any rules for Eurovision?

It might look like a disoragnised, outdated cheese-fest but actually Acatia, yes, the Ten Commandments of Eurovision are:

1. Contestants must all wave and smile to the camera at one point during their performance, whether their song is a singalong spectacular or a mournful ballad about the war tearing apart their homeland.

All hairstyles must be inspired by the 1984 production of Starlight Express.

3. All men must resemble either Ian McShane or H from Steps, and ne’er the twain shall meet.

4. Five points will be deducted from any song not containing the lyrics ‘la la la’, ‘yeah yeah yeah’, or ‘Tora! Tora! Tora!’

5. Israel is in Europe.

6. Palestine is not in Europe.

7. The hosts of the award – one male, one female – must both be entirely without merit.

The videos between each act promoting the host country must contain one of the following images:

– a couple walking hand-in-hand by in a fruit market
– some ropey old men playing chess
– a little girl spinning around in a white lace dress
– a crane shot of a bell tower
– some ladies with nice boobs smiling as if caught off-guard

9. All countries must give their highest score to their closest neighbours, except for France and Ireland, who must snub Great Britain.

10. Extra points will be added for dance routines involving clapping, twirling, or removal of clothes. If all three are achieved at once this will be considered the greatest cultural feat of all time.

(If you enjoyed this extract, please do consider buying the book. It will pass some time before you die.)


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