174. Eurovision part 1

174. Eurovision part 1

By Helen Zaltzman

There aren't many multilingual, multinational television shows that have been running for nearly seven decades. But what makes the Eurovision Song Contest so special to me is not the music, or the dancing, or the costumes that range from spangletastic to tear-off: no, it's the people butting heads about language. Historian Dean Vuletic, author of Postwar Europe and the Eurovision Song Contest, recounts the many changes in Eurovision's language rules, and its language hopes and dreams.

This is the first of a two-part Eurovisionallusionist. In the next instalment: dictators. Protests. Boom Bang-A-Bang Ding-a-Dong Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley. Find out more about this episode at theallusionist.org/eurovision1, where there's also a transcript.

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The Allusionist is produced by me, Helen Zaltzman. Martin Austwick provides the original music. Hear Martin’s own songs via PaleBirdMusic.com.

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