Eurovision: Graham Norton tells Chris Evans about Ireland’s semi-final knockout and teases 'phenomenal' UK performance

Virgin Radio

11 May 2023, 09:49

Graham Norton, and Wild Youth

Virgin Radio’s own Graham Norton has given his reaction to Ireland’s semi-final knockout from the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. 

Wild Youth’s song, We Are One, failed to pick up enough votes to make it through to the Grand Final, which will take place in the Liverpool Arena on Saturday 13th May. 

Irish star Graham, who is once again presenting and commentating the annual competition, dropped in on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch while in the Eurovision 2023 city, and shared his two cents about how Ireland’s performance went down. 

He told Chris: “I felt so bad for those boys. I think one of the problems was that this was such a strong semi-final, because they do a draw for who's going to be in which one. So all the big songs were in that semi-final. I think that played against it. 

“There's an odd thing. Because in this country, we've had Take That the whole time. We still really like that kind of anthemic pop and that sort of song. I wonder if it played as well across the rest of Europe.”

Speaking about tonight’s (Thursday 11th May) semi-final, Graham gave a hint about how it all might go down. 

He shared: “There are some moments where you might nip to the loo. I watched the dress rehearsal last night in the stadium. Once one act started, and I thought, ‘oh, if I was at a concert, this is when I go get a drink. I thought that as the stadium emptied.”

Of course, all eyes will be on the UK’s entrant, Mae Muller, who will perform on Saturday’s Grand Final with I Wrote A Song, and according to Graham, audiences should prepare for something they’ve never seen before from our side. 

Speaking about seeing Mae’s dress rehearsal, the telly host added: “I think the UK are going to be very impressed. The staging, when you think about some of the stuff that the UK has done in the past. The staging for this is phenomenal, all the screens and visuals and the dancers. It's really really good. Fingers crossed for her.”

This year, Graham is sharing his hosting duties with Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham, Alesha Dixon and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina, and will be sharing the commentary box with former Great British Bake Off host Mel Giedroyc.

The Holding author did admit that Eurovision newbie Hannah is doing a little bit too well in the role for his liking. 

He laughed: “I feel so bad because I was watching it last night. The three of them are on stage presenting, and I'm thinking, ‘why am I going to be there?!' I'm like the vegetables when you have dinner. Vegetables arrived that nobody ordered? Yes, that'll be me on Saturday.”

The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals will take place tonight (Thursday 11th May) at 8pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The Grand Final will take place on Saturday 13th May from 8pm.

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.