Earlier this month, we had an interview with Søren Therkelsen, Commissioning Editor of the Eurovision Song Contest anniversary show Congratulations. Søren works for the Danish broadcaster DR, host broadcaster of the anniversary event, which takes place on 22nd October in Copenhagen. The second part of the interview will be published early next week.
In May 2004 the EBU announced a tender regarding the 50th anniversary show of the Eurovision Song Contest. Why did DR make a bid for bringing the show to Denmark?
Except from a short period in the late sixties and the beginning of the seventies, Denmark has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest almost from the beginning and all the way through to today. In that way, the Eurovision Song Contest has become an institution in the minds of most Danes. For most Danes the contest is something that has always been there, a competition and a TV-show that is must-see-TV. For DR, hosting the anniversary show of the Eurovision Song Contest is a great honour.
The Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group favoured DR's 'Extravaganza' concept and in August 2004 the EBU announced Denmark as the location for the Anniversary Show. Can you shortly summarize the concept DR submitted?
The concept proposed by DR in August 2004, and later accepted by the EBU, is based on the special values that the Eurovision Song Contest represents. The contest has reflected Europe as no other organisation, union or any event has ever done before. It has reflected the changes in society, culture, and fashion – but always with pop music as the center of it all. It has always been a cross-cultural, cross-political, cross-religious and cross-language event. This is what makes the Eurovision Song Contest a truly unique historic TV-show. The anniversary concept itself included a prior nomination of 14 of the most popular songs throughout the fifty years – which in the show would be a base of voting for the all-time most popular Eurovision Song Contest song which could become an icon for all the other wining and/or popular participating songs. Besides the voting, an important element in the show is telling the extraordinary story of the fifty years of Eurovision Song Contest and showing all the memorable moments from the golden archives, told in several parts throughout the show.