It’s an honour and it’s a lot of fun and in a strange way, you’re sort of in your job all the time because Monday morning when you think everything is fine – you turn on the radio and everybody is talking about the show and things you’ve been doing there and so on. So, it’s a strange 6 weeks.
What’s the worst thing that can happen on stage?
Actually, it would involve some of the acts that are singing. Because then we have to change the competition – they have to start again and the rules have to be checked and so on. From my point of view, nothing can go bad, actually, because I’m not so important.
Host Kristian Luuk. The contest this year was deemed as being wide open, with several songs predicted to take that victory.
But in the end there can only be one winner. The winner is chosen in two phases, first, 11 regional juries around the country pick their favourites, voting in the traditional Eurovision manner, with the top score being 12 points to their favourite song, tolv poäng.
The top vote from the people went to Sanna Nielsen, competing for the fifth time in the Melodifestival, but for the first time in English with a ballad. She was overwhelmed by the result.
It’s a big victory for me. The Swedish people, I just want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. It feels really huge for me to … to have … I can’t say it … I made it! I did it. I’m so proud and so happy.
Yes, Charlotte Perelli, who has already won the Eurovision Song Contest, back in 1999 when she was called Charlotte Nilsson, is off to Belgrad.
It feels great. My God, I never expected this.
Last time though, you were quite a surprise winner – this year you’ve been tipped as the winner quite a long way – how has the pressure been?
It’s been terrible, actually. You know, you’re so afraid that people will get disappointed if you don’t win. So I was like, okay, just be calm and just see what’s happening. It was great, the jury gave me a lot of points and the people as well, so I feel really comfortable with that.
Now Belgrade. Looking forward to it?
Of course I do!
Thank you very much. I’ll need that!Listen to the report:
Angela Merkel this week became the first German Chancellor to address the Israeli Parliament. Merkel's three day visit aimed to upgrade ties between Israel and Germany and was described by both countries as exceptional. Seven German ministers also accompanied the Chancellor for a joint sitting with the Israeli cabinet - a level of consultation Germany usually reserved for a small number of EU states. Paying tribute to the "special relationship" between the two countries Chancellor Merkel said the genocide by the Nazis filled Germans with shame. However, more than sixty years after World War two an address in German in the Israeli parliament remains controversial.
Turkey has fought many internal political battles over the past few years. Now, it's at a new crossroad. Last week Turkey's top state prosecutor, Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, launched a court case against the ruling AK Party. The prosecutor claims the AK Party is trying to build an Islamic state within secular Turkey. If successful, the AK Party would be banned, and 71 party members including the Prime Minister and President, face the risk of being banned from politics for 5 years.
Crossing borders - something very easy to do in Europe. It's now three months since nine new EU member states entered Europe's border free travel zone, known as the Schengen area. Back in December last year border checkpoints were ceremonially decommissioned and there was a sense of optimism and excitement about what Schengen might bring for trade, tourism and stronger links between countries. But have things really changed?
On Thursday the Francophone world celebrated the day of "Francophonie" - a celebration of the French language wherever it's spoken. Within the EU no one plays up their language as much as the French. And of course France is famous for trying to resist the encroachment of the English language and American culture in particular. Strict rules for example regulate the amount of French music that has to be played on the radio, and there's even a special department within France's Ministry of Culture devoted to the French language. But what is the status of French in the world today?
Here's the third clue to help you identify our mystery film producer and director. He's French and he celebrated his birthday on March the 18th. So here's the clue, an excerpt from one of his films. Most of the film's action takes place in the underground world of the Paris metro. Do you know who we're looking for? Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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