Sweden: Christer Björkman tells all in his autobiography Generalen

by Roy Knoops 1,268 views

Christer Björkman, mastermind behind the success of Melodifestivalen and himself a former Eurovision participant, reflects on his life and times in his autobiography: Generalen.

Generalen – Bara jag vet vem som vinner (The General: Only I know who wins) by Christer Björkman and Petter Karlsson reveals details about his career and life, both before and after he became Sweden’s “Mister Eurovision”. The sympathetic artist and television producer gives a candid view into his personal life story.

In the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, Christer Björkman says:

It’s a therapy to write an autobiography. You have to turn over every stone.

Cover for Christer Björkman’s autobiography.

Christer Björkman has lived a busy and versatile life, both personally and artistically, including attending hairdressing school in New York, running a successful hairdresser’s salon in Borås, being part of the artistic scene in Stockholm, and working for Björn Borg in Monaco.

Not to mention his participation in Eurovision 1992, being the producer of the immensely popular Swedish selection for Eurovision, Melodifestivalen, since 2002, and working as show- and contest producer for Eurovision 2013 and 2016.

Having just turned 60, Christer Björkman felt it was time for his autobiography, never having that urge before:

I have not felt that there has been any reason. When I do things, I always have the objective that I have to be able to answer why I do it, and I have not been able to find an answer to that question until now (…) Suddenly there was a thought that ‘yes, maybe it’s time to summarize this anyway’. Now that I am teaching Karin Gunnarsson, who will take over while I gradually step back, I felt there was a reason to do that.

Generalen is written together with Petter Karlsson, and may have some surprising revelations, including very personal experiences, including being a victim of sexual exploitation when he was younger. Christer Björkman says it is necessary to talk about such things, thus helping people who might struggle with similar issues:

That was the best of all. If you want to make an autobiography then you have to show all parts of your life, you can not just choose the simple ones. You have to tell something (…) All I hope is that I may visualize a problem that many people have. I think that has happened to many people. Possibly, it may help someone to process their experience, understand that more people have been through the same thing and talk about it.

But of course, the artist and producer also talks plenty about Melodifestivalen and Eurovision, as there are many memorable anecdotes to be told about Swedish Eurovision stars such as Carola, Sanna Nielsen, Loreen and Måns Zelmerlöw.

Christer Björkman recently renewed his contract with broadcaster SVT until 2021, in the meantime also gradually training Karin Gunnarsson to be his successor.

Generalen – Bara jag vet vem som vinner is out now at Forum Publishers.

About Christer Björkman

Christer Samuel Björkman (born in Borås, Sweden, 1957) is a Swedish singer and producer. Initially starting out as a hairdresser, he began his musical career in the 1980’s.

His mainstream breakthrough came when he won Melodifestivalen 1992. With the song I morgon är en annan dag (Tomorrow there is another day) he subsequently represented Sweden on home soil at the 1992 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. Despite being a favourite, Christer Björkman placed 22nd out of 23 contestants, earning 9 points. However, the song became a hit in Sweden, marking the start of Christer Björkman’s successful career, and became a Eurovision evergreen.

Enjoy Christer Björkman performing I morgon är en annan dag during Eurovision 1992: