Britain pays dearly for Euro sarcasm

Eurovision 2008With just 23 days to the big off, Eurovision fever is already gripping the people of Europe – and none more so than Terry Wogan. The BBC’s veteran Eurovision Song Contest presenter is famous for his sharp wit and the caustic, and sometimes sarcastic, truisms he lavishes on each act.

According to Frettabladid, it has now come to light that Wogan earns approximately GBP 150,000 for his work at Eurovision; but the BBC will try to justify the expense, pointing to the fact that the show’s 11 million-strong audience figures would drop considerably without Wogan’s inimitable presence.

The Eurovision Song Contest is not widely taken seriously in the UK, a nation that has entered a series of widely disliked acts in the last few years. As many people tune in just to hear Wogan as they do to hear the music and see the outfits. More than one-in-six British viewers will be watching the finals in Serbia next month.

The UK’s entry does not need to compete in the semi final as the country is one of the “Big Four” with France, Germany and Spain whose participation in the final is considered vital to the competition’s success, therefore Wogan has never commentated on a semi final, but has been the voice of BBC TV for every final since 1980.

The Eurovision Song Contest is thought to be one of the most-watched non-sporting events in the world, with audience figures having quoted in recent years between 100 million and 600 million internationally.

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