Over the years since our beloved contest began , way back in 1956, many artists have graced the Eurovision stage over the years, enjoying the opportunity to make themselves known far and wide.
Over the last few weeks, Eurovision Ireland has been looking at the fates of past Eurovision Stars following their experience at the contest . This got us thinking… besides the performers, what about the other important people who make the contest what it is – the hosts chosen by the host broadcaster to present the contest? It’s true to say that besides the performers , the hosts have given us some classic memories over the years since the contest began . So we thought it would be fitting to also look at the fates of past hosts as well as performers in this series Here Today, Gone tomorrow.
This week , we have decided to focus on a host who those of us viewers in the UK , particularly those of us old enough to have been around in the 70’s and 80’s will remember very well –
ANGELA RIPPON !
Life before Eurovision
Angela Rippon was born in 1944 , in Plymouth , Devon . She started her career with BBC Plymouth and an ITV station Westward Television before joining the BBC IN 1975 to read the 9 o’clock News , becoming the first female journalist newsreader. She is very well known to UK TV , being particularly well-known for presenting many programmes such as Come Dancing , Top Gear and The Holiday Programme . Her most well known appearance that will be fondly remembered by many UK viewers who were around in the 70’s was that in the Christmas Special programme of the Comedians Morecambe & Wise where she performed a dance routine showing rather a lot of her legs !
Hosting at Eurovision
The UK hosted the Eurovision Song Contest at the Wembley Conference centre on Saturday 7th May 1977 , Angela was selected to host the contest by the BBC, which at one point it was thought would not take place due to a BBC strike in April, which was at that time the usual month for the contest to take place. . Perhaps her best remembered moment is one which features in many Eurovision Memories features in recent contest and pre -contest previews when, she was put under pressure by the Dutch jury spokes person who announced that he thought that the Netherlands should have 6 points instead of the five that were on the sccore board, with the scrutineers offering to re-check the votes, the spokesperson suggested he continue giving the voting results , Angela was heard to say
” Why don’t we let them sort out their problems?
You give us your votes, OK ?”
The clip below is of Angela reminiscing of her experience hosting the contest
Life after Eurovision
Angela continued to present and appear in many UK TV programmes following her Eurovision hosting experience. In 2009 she danced to Hey Big Spender on the Comic Relief show .
Angela has also worked as an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s society being a big advocate of the Dementia Friends campaigns some years ago. She was also one of the first presenters when breakfast TV started to become common place in UK homes , presenting Good Morning Britain in 1983, which unfortunately for her ended rather badly when both herself and fellow presenter Anna Ford were dismissed following poor viewing figures. She then spent time in the USA as an arts and entertainments correspondent .
Angela is still with us today although much less frequently on our screens now . She was seen on BBC screens in 2016 presenting “How to stay Young” and in 2018 presented the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for Australian TV Channel Seven .
Will we see Angela back in Eurovision again, perhaps making a guest appearance at UK National finals or shows or perhaps one year there may be a presentation at Eurovision of past hosts of the contest? Given her experience of presenting Eurovision, would she want to become involved again? That remains to be seen .
Author : Sarah Rudman
Source : You Tube, BBC , Wikipedia
Categories: United Kingdom