"Our Eurovision singer is no good at grouting but she's a Bonnie Tyler." Boom tish!
As soon as the announcement was made that the Welsh star is to represent the UK in the annual TV campfest, one of my favourite gagsmiths, Tony Cowards, was leading the titters on Twitter.
Ms Tyler says she’s delighted to do the honours, and I’m delighted for her - who wouldn’t be pleased to see a sassy mature woman with a Woodbine voice belting it out for Britain?
Is it tempting fate, though, given the UK’s recent dismal Eurovision record, to be going into the spotlight with a number called “Believe In Me”? I can hear Graham Norton now, doing his sad voice, as the song is given another “nul points”. “We believe in you, Bonnie, what a pity no-one else in Europe does. Bless.”
I predict there will be a Total Eclipse of the Points for the UK, though, as the song itself is a ghastly power ballad that’s running on empty. Anyway, bland doesn’t win Eurovision - we need a good gimmick. So I suggest we merge two trends to bag the prize next year - veteran performers and choirs, with a global brand thrown in. I give you - The Windsors.
Think Song for Marion with a crown on top. Her Maj, Philip, Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and baby, and Harry. All age groups catered for. Heck, folk would vote for them just so they’d be guaranteed a second performance. There’s just the question of the song - a riff on “We Are Family”, perhaps? Or “God Bless The Queen”?
Another prospect, further down the line, is that of Scotland having a separate entry. It’s been mooted before, and it’s 25 years since a Scot last sang for the UK - Scott Fitzgerald, who came 2nd to Celine Dion - while, of course Lulu won in 1969.
If it came to pass, Scotland would surely have to be represented by The Proclaimers. Like The Windsors, there is a built-in novelty value. More importantly, Craig & Charlie, can pen a catchy song. If I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) had been our entry in 1988, it would have been a sure-fire winner. Although I guess if it was really about the songs, it would be called Eurosound, not Eurovision.
Changing gear totally, my film tip this weekis the remarkable debut feature by a Scottish writer/director you won’t have heard of - yet. He is Scott Graham, and the film is Shell, about a father and daughter living in a remote petrol station in the Scottish highlands.
Its tone and atmosphere reminded me of elements of US indie films from the 1970s - think a smaller scale, freezing cold, dreich and windy Badlands - and the photography, sound and performances are superb. It’s intense, at times grim viewing, which will divide audiences - my companion hated it, but I sat at the end, spellbound by the closing images and haunting vocals of King Creosote. Shell will be on selected cinema release this week.
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