Graham Norton is once again playing his part in the coverage of Eurovision as the 2022 contest takes place in Italy. The TV star is well loved in the UK for his cutting sense of humour – viewers can expect plenty of sarcastic commentary on some of Europe’s more bizarre musical talent. Graham hasn’t just saved his European commentary for Eurovision in the past – the Irishman has also lamented Brexit in previous interviews. Speaking at the West Cork Literary Festival in 2019, Graham said a “revolution” had occurred in the UK, from neither the right nor the left, but instead “from the stupid”.
He called on Brexiteers to “look at their victory parade” and watch who was “dancing the hardest and shouting the loudest”.
The BBC presenter also took aim at Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit campaigner, saying those who had voted to leave the EU had “hitched their wagon to a moron”.
A year prior to this, he appeared on The Late Late Show couch with Ryan Tubridy and offered some strong thoughts on the “pack of lies” that were told during the referendum.
Graham said: “I was astonished that people bought the pack of lies they were sold and I feel sorry for the people who voted for it because they were lied to.
“They were promised things that are never going to happen and they were told [about] the things that are now unfolding: ‘oh don’t worry, that won’t happen’.”
Graham also said that even though the economy makes the headlines, it is the narrowing prospects of the youth that is the “most depressing thing”.
He added: “What is great about being young is you’ve so many options. Life – all the doors are open, every door is open.
“What is so sad about Brexit is that people over 60, because it was people over 60 passed that thing, closed so many doors on young people and shut down options.
“Shut down options about studying abroad, living abroad, working in places.
“It just seemed absolutely the wrong instinct.
“Don’t make the world smaller, don’t shut things down.
“I understand where the fear comes from but, actually, I think it is sad.”
Graham may be critical of the UK’s political choices, but he is at least more positive about this year’s Eurovision contestant.
Sam Ryder, an artist who found fame singing covers on TikTok, will represent the UK with his song SPACEMAN.
Graham thinks Sam could be the UK’s best hope for a long time.
He said: “Sam Ryder is a star. I honestly think he is our best hope for years.
“He has been getting a great response around Europe as he promotes Spaceman, so fingers crossed for some points this year.”
When asked which country he thinks will walk away with the iconic glass microphone, he said: “I really think Italy might do that rarest of things and walk away triumphant for the second year in a row. That song is huge.”
As one of the Big Five countries (UK, Spain, Germany, France, Italy), the UK does not have to qualify from the semi-final stage of the competition and will gain automatic access to the Saturday grand final.
Italy, as well as being part of the Big Five, are guaranteed a place in the final due to their victory at last year’s contest and will be represented by Mahmood & Blanco with their song Brividi.
TV presenter, AJ Odudu will be the UK’s Eurovision Spokesperson and deliver the results of the professional jury vote live from Salford, for the first time ever.