Eurovision in race row - Daily TV round-up

The Eurovision Song Contest is involved in a race row after senior figures in the music industry claimed that Britain's failure in recent years could be down to racism.

Entrants including Javine Hylton, Andy Abraham, Jade Ewan and Blue have all fared badly at the annual contest in recent years despite strong entries.

UK Eurovision hopeful Andy Abraham (Copyright: PA)

One entrant, who remains nameless, told the Daily Mail: "We were told repeatedly when we were touring our song around Europe that we didn't have a chance because of the race factor.

"We didn't believe it at the time. Then on the night our vote was very low in certain countries. Organisers were very open that there is a track record for some nations refusing to cast votes for acts featuring ethnic minorities."

It's said that Andrew Lloyd Webber, who co-wrote the entry for singer Jade Ewen, also experienced issues of racism first hand.


"Jade won a TV talent show in the UK to perform Andrew's song," said another source in the UK camp.

"Andrew lobbied for her around the Eurovision countries before the contest. At least once he was asked at a press conference why he had 'cast a black girl' because it meant he could never win. He was so shocked, he had to ask several times for a translator to repeat the question."

It's now being suggested that the UK quits the contest for good, but a spokesperson for the BBC said: "The BBC is committed to Eurovision and has no evidence of any racism around the event." [Daily Mail]

Also in today's press

Reports that Clive James is close to death have been dismissed as 'b***cks' by the veteran broadcaster. "The interview which Clive James gave to the BBC sounds much less doom-laden than it does when transcribed by the press," said his agent. "He is in fact in reasonable shape and looking forward to years of work." It was reported that James had nearly died several times after being diagnosed with leukaemia two years ago. [The Guardian/BBC]

Jimmy Carr has taken a ribbing on his quiz show '8 Out Of 10 Cats' for his recent run-in with the press for tax avoidance. "We all like to put a bit of money away for a rainy day. But I think you're more prepared than Noah," said team captain Sean Lock. [The Sun]

Channel 5 is to broadcast classic episodes of 'Home And Away' while it's on its summer break. Viewers will be asked to pick their favourite all-time instalments from the show's past 25 years until the show returns in September. [Digital Spy]