World of Chig   

All Change

1957, 1959-1995: A Song For Europe

1996-1999: The Great British Song Contest

2000-2003: A Song For Europe (again)

2004-2007: Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up

2008: Eurovision - Your Decision

Yes, the BBC has announced the new name for the UK's Eurovision selection programme, taking place on 1st March. And that's it; Eurovision - Your Decision. The brainstorming session over breakfast this morning must have taken all of ten seconds.

Let's not get hung up on the uninspiring name though. (Even though I would happily hire myself out as a branding consultant to the BBC, conduct some 'research' and charge them a hundred grand, before announcing my recommendation that they return to the name 'A Song For Europe' because that's the brand that the public still recognises and uses.) No, let's not.

It's the format that counts, and there's a new production team in charge, who have changed it, to make it more of a knockout competition. This sounds promising. There will be six contenders, in three 'categories' with a pair of songs in each. The three winners will progress to the second round, plus a wildcard from the three losers (chosen by the celebrity panel?)

According to ESC Today, the four survivors will then be whittled down to a superfinal between the top two songs, like last year. By my reckoning, that means three rounds of televoting. Thank goodness the BBC isn't allowed to make money on televoting. The winner goes to Belgrade and the runner-up gets to play Oliver Twist for Andrew Lloyd-Webber, or something like that. I may be getting two new shows confused.

Thankfully, the live show is back in TV Centre in London, which won't surprise anyone who watched last year's Making Your Mind Up from the Maidstone Studios, which had all the atmosphere of an aircraft hangar. Wogan's infamous boo-boo distracted people from mentioning afterwards that the lighting was poor, the sound quality was awful, especially near the beginning, and the phone numbers didn't appear on screen when Scooch and Cyndi performed in the superfinal, so we couldn't vote.

We'll have to wait and see what the categories are, who the six artistes are and what the songs are like. Adrian Chiles announced tonight on The One Show that they will be previewing the UK's songs before the main event. If Daz Sampson hasn't kept his promise to return and Radiohead, Morrissey and Bill Bailey have gone back on their promises again, I for one will be very disappointed.

Yeah, right. What we really need is a puppet.

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