National treasure Graham Norton graces Eurovision every year with his sharp commentary on UK coverage and quietly revealed his choice for the 2024 winner.
Excitement over Eurovision is building as countries announce their songs for this year's competition, with It's A Sin star Olly Alexander representing the UK in Sweden.
After Sam Ryder's miracle in 2022, the excitement quickly collapsed again when May Muller failed to win over the fans last year at home to Liverpool.
Graham was in Dublin for the premiere of LOL: Last One Laughing Ireland on Amazon Prime metro.es I spoke to him about his expectations for Eurovision.
He gave us an expert idea of Ollie's prospects when he told us that the Years and Years singer's chances of winning were “really good.”
“You never know, it all happened overnight,” the legend continues, before unleashing an endorsement that is slightly (well, very) biased towards a particular country.
He added, laughing: “You know, Ireland will win again!” They will! Hope springs eternal.
Naturally, the County Dublin-born star supports his country, especially when surrounded by his Irish comedian friends, including Aisling Bea and Jason Byrne.
The 60-year-old broadcaster has been the voice of Eurovision in the UK since 2009, replacing the much-loved Sir Terry Wogan, and instantly became one of the competition's leading stars.
“England had been depressed for years and then Sam came along, so it could happen,” Graham said.
Ireland is yet to announce its participation, with six acts set to compete for the honors on The Late Late Eurosong Special, presented by Patrick Quilty.
However, unlike the 'Big Five' (England, Italy, Germany, France and Spain), participants from Ireland will have to try to reach the final rather than gain an automatic place.
The island is usually very successful with its entries in song competitions and is tied with Sweden for the most wins, including Dana's first winner with All Kinds Of Everything in 1970.
When was the last time Ireland won Eurovision?
Despite winning the competition seven times, Ireland has not qualified for the Eurovision final since 2018, with the exception of 2020.
However, in 2018, Ryan O'Shaughnessy managed to come in at number 16 with his song Together. This competition was won by Nita Israel, who sang Game.
Ireland's last victory came in 1996 with Emerald Quinn's The Voice, the country's fourth win in five consecutive years.
This meant that the following year it was held in Dublin, the sixth time it had been held in the capital, with only a one-year break in Millstreet in 1993.
The winning streak began in 1992 with Linda Martin's “Why Me,” followed by Niamh Kavanagh's “In Your Eyes,” and then Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan's No. 1 with Rock 'n' Roll Kids in 1994.
Johnny Logan has the most Irish victories to his name, winning in 1980 and 1987 with what other year? And hug me now straight.
The first Irish Eurovision winner in 1970 was Dana, who wowed audiences with her song “All Kinds of Everything” – yes, ballads can really win.
There is still a long way to go before the grand final, which will be broadcast on Saturday 11 May, and Ireland's chances of winning are currently very low, especially as their participation has not yet been announced.
Ole has impressed the bettors, even without announcing his song, because he is the favorite to win, along with Ukraine, Italy and the host country Sweden.
With nearly 15 years on the show, Graham is all too familiar with how predictions on the big night can go wrong for more complex reasons.
“It just comes down to the night, the show, the stage, where you stand in the pecking order, what other songs are in the show,” he says before adding with a smile: “So, you know, come on, Ireland!” .
Discussing his new show Last One Laughing, the professional comedian reveals why he thinks Irish comedians are so successful.
“I think Irish people in general like to laugh,” he said. “When you tell a story, there usually has to be laughter, otherwise people won't listen to you.”
LOL: Ireland's Last One Laughing is coming to Prime Video on January 19, 2024, while Eurovision is coming to BBC One in May.
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