Portuguese broadcaster RTP has confirmed to esctoday.com that the Festival da Canção, which had been under threat after changes to the company board last month, will go ahead after all. The departure of Nuno Santos from the company in December meant that plans for the show had to be cancelled and it was expected that Portugal would use an internal selection to choose the country's 2008 Eurovision Song Contest entry. The provisional date for the show is 9th March.
Today, Mr. Poitares, Head of the Portuguese delegation in recent years, confirmed to esctoday.com that the show will go on despite the earlier fears. The broadcaster is now working on finding the right entries for the competition. The date is provisionally set for 9th March, and will be confirmed shortly. He also explained that RTP are inviting a mix of producers and artists to provide songs for the show.
Mr. Poitares has been working tirelessly to improve the quality of both the Portuguese selection process and their Eurovision Song Contest entries, and many Eurovision Song Contest fans are keen to see the country back in the final of the competition in 2008 to end fears that the country's national broadcaster may withdraw from the competition if they do not qualify again soon.
Portugal was very close to qualifying for the Eurovision Song Contest final in 2007 when Sabrina narrowly missed out on a top ten finish in the semi final. Just four points denied Portugal a place in the Saturday night for the first time since 2003.
A very special thanks to Nina Pinto for this article.