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'I've no idea if Eurovision will go ahead now', admits Norton

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TV presenter Graham Norton

TV presenter Graham Norton

TV presenter Graham Norton

Eurovision host Graham Norton said he "suspects" the famous song contest "won't be the normal" format due to coronavirus.

Norton, who hosts Eurovision for the BBC, told his Radio 2 audience: "I have no idea (if Eurovision will go ahead)."

The song contest is due to be held in Rotterdam in the Netherlands on May 16.

"When I know, so will you. I'll see it on a tweet or hear it on the news. When is it, middle of May? So basically they'll have to decide soon what they're going to do with it.

"I mean, countries around there are on lockdown. Denmark is on lockdown. So, yes, I suspect whatever goes ahead won't be the normal Eurovision, that's what I suspect.

"But that's just me as Joe Bloggs walking down the street, saying 'La, la, la'. No one's told me anything, I have no idea but, anyway, something will happen.

"There will be a winner of Eurovision 2020, that I'm confident about, I think someone's going to win it."

Weird

If the song contest was to be held without an audience, if organisers follow the lead of other TV shows across Europe and the US, the contest would have a very different feel.

RTE viewers labelled The Late Late Show as "weird" on Twitter after it was aired on Friday for the first time without a live audience due to the virus crisis.

A big part of Eurovision is the interaction of the audience and the close contact between performers, so any tampering with that format could drastically alter the show.

Eurovision announced it is still "closely monitoring the situation concerning the spread of coronavirus and keeping abreast of the latest advice and guidelines from the World Health Organisation and national health authorities".

Organisers said they are "working closely" with the Dutch host broadcaster and the city of Rotterdam to "explore different potential scenarios for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020".

It added that, with two months to go, and "a rapidly changing situation both in the Netherlands and the countries of the participating broadcasters, it is still too early to make any final decisions".