Bjorn Erichsen, the EBU Director of Eurovision TV, declared the first annual Eurovision Dance Contest officially open in London, United Kingdom. The event, held on the panoramic ninth floor of London's City Hall, with the backdrop of Tower Bridge, saw the competing couples from 16 countries introduced and featured a press conference and opening party.
Mr Erichsen told the gathered media that in the Eurovision Dance Contest, "we are talking about the oldest entertainment show in the world and mixing, or marrying it with the successful dance shows of recent years".
It was also confirmed that in addition to the 16 competing nations, the show would be broadcast in Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Cyprus, Iceland, Israel and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Co-host of the show, Graham Norton told the audience that he is such a fan of Eurovision that he would have "agreed to host a Eurovision Darts Contest" had he been asked and along with Claudia Winkleman, looked well prepared for the show. The pair look set to enjoy a good stage relationship and should help to produce a great show on Saturday night.
Certain rules were also clarified:
- The voting lines will open at the start of the show, in the same manner as the Junior Eurovision Song Contest last year in Bucarest.
- The number of calls per telephone line will be limited to 20, as with the Eurovision Song Contest.
- The procedure in case of a tie for first place will also mirror the Eurovision Song Contest, with a count-back of highest votes.
Rehearsals take place on Wednesday and Thursday and Dress rehearsals take place on Friday and Saturday before the live show airs on Saturday night, 1st September at 20:00 UK time, 21:00 CET.