United Kingdom: Head of Delegation Helen Riddell leaves the BBC; new HoD to be appointed

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 1,334 views

The UK’s Head of Delegation Ms. Helen Riddell has left the BBC in order to pursue her career as  a free lance producer. The British Broadcasting Corporation is set to appoint a new person for the job in due course.

Ms.Helen Ridell has attended the Eurovision Song Contest several times and has been part of the British delegation for five years. Her departure follows Guy Freeman’s departure (former Head of Delegation for the United Kingdom), who also left the BBC earlier this year in order to pursue a new venture.

Throughout her time at the BBC and involvement in the Eurovision Song Contest, Helen has always worked hard and excelled in all her projects.

Helen has worked for 5 years as both the Senior Producer for the Eurovision Song Contest, and Head of UK Delegation.

She has led the creative process of the UK’s Eurovision entry including the song selection, music video, publicity and staging of performance.

Helen has also played a key role in forging relations between the BBC, the EBU and the numerous European broadcasters. She has overseen the live broadcast of the Eurovision Semi-finals from the commentary box.

Ms. Riddell has been the the senior producer behind the UK’s Eurovision selection: Eurovision-You Decide from 2016-2018. She played a key role in booking Mel Giedroyc, Mans Zelmerlow, Rylan, Tom Fletcher and Rochelle Hulmes to be part of the British national selection.

This year Ms. Ridell had to deal with an unfortunate incident at the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon when a stage invader interrupted the UK’s performance.

The BBC is expected to appoint a new Head of Delegation for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in due course.

The United Kingdom in Eurovision

The United Kingdom debuted at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957 and has won the competition five times (1967, 1969, 1975, 1981, 199). The country has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 61 times and has enjoyed great succes in Europe’s favorite television show. The UK hold the record of being the country who has placed 2nd the most times in the competition, namely 15 times.

Many big names have flown the British flag at the Eurovision Song Contest: Sandie Shaw, Olivia Newton John, Lulu, Buckz Fizz, Brotherhod of Man, Cliff Richard, Clodagh Rogers, Mary Hopkin, Michael Ball, Sonia, Gina G, Bonny Tyler etc.

In 2018 the United Kingdom selected its Eurvovision act and entry via a national final. SuRie was crowned the winner of the British national final and won the golden ticket to Lisbon with her entry Storm.

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