When is Eurovision on, and who is performing for Britain?

Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 2:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th May 2018, 2:58 pm

This weekend sees the 63rd edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest broadcast live from Lisbon, Portugal.

From on-stage eccentricity to utterly baffling songs, the yearly competition often has UK viewers excited to indulge in some high-camp silliness. And this year is no different.

If you're looking to host your own Eurovision party this year, here's what you need to know.

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Who is performing for Britain?

Flying the flag for the UK this year is SuRie.

The 29-year old, Essex-born singer-songwriter is no stranger to music; classically trained, she started writing at just 12, and performed in front of the Prince of Wales as a child soloist.

She's had experience with the competition before: in 2015 she provided backing vocals and was a dancer for Belgian entrant Loïc Nottet, and was the musical director for Belgian artist Blanche last year.

Both times she helped them to a respectable fourth place, so she'll be hoping to do a lot better than "nil points" when she goes it alone on Saturday.

The song she will be singing is 'Storm', an uplifting, club-inspired pop number.

The current odds on a SuRie win stand at 200/1 according to Bet365; they've got her down as placing 24th out of the 34 acts still eligible for qualification.

The UK's Eurovision 2018 entrant, SuRie performs on The Graham Norton Show (Photo: BBC)

The UK haven't won in 20 years - when Katrina and the Waves took home the prize in 1998.

Considering she's lower in the bookies' odds than some acts who are yet to qualify, SuRie's chances look slim.

Who's likely to win?

The odds in full:

Cyprus - 5/2France - 11/2Israel - 6/1Lithuania - 14/1Estonia - 25/1Czech Republic - 25/1Bulgaria - 33/1Finland - 33/1Italy - 40/1Spain - 40/1Austria - 40/1Germany - 50/1Ireland - 66/1Portugal - 100/1United Kingdom - 200/1Albania - 400/1

All odds correct at time of writing, according to Bet365

Of the 16 countries who have qualified for this year's competition (another nine will be announced following a semi-final on May 10), Cyprus are the current favourites to win the grand prize, represented by pop star Eleni Foureira and her track 'Fuego'.

There is only ONE word for @foureira_eleni's performance, so it's a good job the song is called it: FUEGO #ESC2018 #AllAboard #CYP pic.twitter.com/WAsKeeF0F4

— Eurovision (@Eurovision) May 8, 2018

Other contenders who are predicted to perform strongly include Israel, represented by Netta with her song 'Toy', a track about female empowerment - and one which also comes with a 'chicken dance' which is likely to be a talking point.

Mikolas Josef has been called the Czech Republic's answer to Justin Bieber, and though the 22-year old's mainstream sounding track will have widespread appeal, he had to go to hospital after sustaining a neck injury during rehearsals.

Finland's Saara Aalto may be familiar to UK fans; she reached the final of The X Factor in 2016, before losing out to eventual winner Matt Terry.

It's possible that the whole arena just got emosh over @Ryan_Acoustic's 'Together' #ESC2018 #AllAboard #IRL pic.twitter.com/XknPKWjgnC

— Eurovision (@Eurovision) May 8, 2018

Another face previously seen on UK screens is that of Ryan O'Shaughnessy, who reached the Britain's Got Talent final in 2012 and is representing Ireland.

Ireland has more Eurovision wins than any other country with seven, but O'Shaughnessy will be hoping to take home the trophy for his country for the first time since 1996.

How can I watch Eurovision 2018?

This year's Eurovision Song Contest: Grand Final will be broadcast on BBC1 on Saturday (May 12) at 8pm.

The show is expected to run for over three hours, with the broadcast winding down at 11.35pm.

To help you through the extensive/grueling ordeal, Graham Norton will be on hand to deliver his trademark sarcastic commentary.

There will be 25 performances in all from the qualifying countries, after which it will be announced where each country allocated their points.

There will also be opening and interval performances, including live music by Portuguese scratching duo Beatbombers to introduce the 'parade of nations'.

The show will be hosted by Portugese presenters Sílvia Alberto, Filomena Cautela and Catarina Furtado; the first time since 2015 that the contest does not feature a male presenter.

Eurovision Song Contest: Grand Final is on BBC1 on Saturday May 12 at 8pm

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[Main image: BBC]