Eurovision Song Contest replacement special rises like a phoenix from the ashes of gay culture

The Eurovision Song Contest may be cancelled in 2020, but its spirit lives on

Graham Norton is to host a social distancing-compliant special in place of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The BBC has announced that despite the pan-European song contest not going ahead due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will still air a celebration of Eurovision on May 16.

The UK’s regular commentator Graham Norton will narrate the special, which will take a look at acts that were set to compete at the first Eurovision to be cancelled in the show’s 65 year history – as well as recapping some “classic” Eurovision moments.

Eurovision: Come Together will ‘look at what would have been’.

The BBC explained: “BBC One and Graham Norton bring the country together for a special Eurovision broadcast – Eurovision: Come Together on Saturday 16 May.

“Produced by BBC Studios the show will feature classic Eurovision performances, a look at what would have been in 2020 and entertaining interviews, including this year’s UK entry James Newman.

Eurovision: Come Together will be produced by BBC Studios for BBC One.”

True fans will recall that ‘Come Together’ was the slogan for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, which also delivered us the timeless Eurovision staple “Love, Love, Peace, Peace”.

The European Broadcasting Union, which produces the annual song contest, has also said it is working on its own celebration of the 41 selected acts.

The body explained:  “The EBU is very aware of how much the Eurovision Song Contest will be missed this year. The contest’s values of universality and inclusivity, and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music, are needed more than ever right now.

“The EBU and its Members are therefore currently exploring alternative programming, but not a competition, to help unite and entertain audiences around Europe during these challenging times.

“It is our intention in this programming, and on our online platforms in the coming months, to honour the songs and artists which have been chosen for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020.”

There might be another replacement on the way.

Fans might be in for a third treat this year – with Will Ferrell’s Netflix comedy based on the contest originally intended to release alongside Eurovision in 2020.

It remains unclear whether Netflix still plans to put the film out this year in the absence of the contest, however, with the streaming giant listing the current premiere date for the project as “upcoming”.

Iceland's Daði og Gagnamagnið had been tipped to win Eurovision 2020

Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið had been tipped to win in 2020. (Screen capture via YouTube)

A synopsis says: “When aspiring musicians Lars and Sigrit are given the opportunity of a lifetime to represent their country at the world’s biggest song competition, they finally have a chance to prove that any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.”

Ironically, the film – which also stars Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens and Demi Lovato – is based on a fictional Icelandic entry.

The country’s real 2020 pick, Daði og Gagnamagnið, was hotly tipped to be on track to bring Iceland its first ever victory, before the contest’s cancellation.