Eurovision Calling review – a brief, blah beginners’ guide to the contest that gave us Abba … and Scooch
On a mission … hosts Chelcee Grimes and Jason Manford. Photograph: David Hogan/BBC/Little Gem
As the hype goes into overdrive for this week’s grand final, calling this whiz through the basics an ‘ultimate guide’ is misleading. Fanatics should steer clear
Eurovision Calling: Jason and Chelcee’s Ultimate Guide is the calm before the storm of the semi-finals, which begin on Tuesday. To call this hour-long whiz through the basic history of the event an “ultimate guide” is a touch misleading. The presenters, comedian Jason Manford and footballer/musician Chelcee Grimes, are fairly clear that it’s more of a beginners’ guide, and Manford aims much of his shtick at newcomers or recent converts. As a result, it’s not likely to enlighten any hardcore fans, but it might convince the previously unpersuaded to have a look.
Manford kicks things off by admitting that until last year, he had largely ignored the competition. It wasn’t until he watched Sam Ryder, “full of joy, looking like Jesus”, romping to second place in 2022 behind a triumphant Ukraine, that he thought it might be worth paying more attention. So here he is, Jason Everyman-ford, learning all that he can about the event and its fans.