Eurovision Song Contest

This section looks at the Eurovision Song Contest from a presentational point of view - logos, graphics, captions, postcards, scoreboards etc. On this page we look at 2002-2005; the other pages in this section cover 1956-1966, 1967-1975, 1976-1982, 1983-1989, 1990-1996, 1997-2001, 2006-2009, 2010-2013, 2014-2017 and 2018.

If you're more interested in the music, click here for our reviews of the contests from 2002-2005.


2002

A shorter version of the Eurovision opening symbol was used from this year, with 'Te Deum' halved in length again to less than ten seconds.

The contest was presented from one of the former Soviet states for the first time in 2002, heading to the recently opened Saku Suurhall in Tallinn in Estonia. The hosts were singers Annely Peebo and Marko Matvere.

Starting this year, each contest would have its own theme, and this year's was 'A Modern Fairytale'. This theme extended to the rather convoluted postcards, which consisted of classic fairytales updated to reflect modern life in Estonia.

The DOG that appeared in the bottom left of the screen during each song now had the number of performance added. Another, one-off, addition saw cartoon animals randomly popping up over the scoreboard for some reason. This year saw Colin Berry announce the UK's points for the final time.

The BBC's digital channel BBC Choice became involved with the contest this year, resurrecting the Eurovision preview shows which had been absent for eight years in the form of Liquid News spin-off Liquid Eurovision, presented by Lorraine Kelly in London and Max Flint in Tallinn.

The channel also dedicated its Saturday night schedule to the contest with a Liquid Eurovision Party, which included an hour-long build-up, a simulcast of the contest itself with alternative commentary, and a post mortem following the close of the contest. The original intention had been for Christopher Price to host the coverage and provide the commentary, but following his death the previous month, this role was taken by Jenny Eclair. This is the only time the BBC has provided three different commentary options (BBC1/BBC Choice/BBC Radio 2).


2003

The 2003 contest was hosted from the Skonto Hall, Riga, by the previous year's winner Marija Naumova, along with another former competitor, Renars Kaupers. The slogan was 'Magical Rendezvous'. The opening sequence consisted of a clay animation of 'Planet Latvia', and the show's graphics all had a plasticine theme to them.

The postcards featured the competing artists for the first time in a number of years, and they were seen visiting various locations in Latvia. The UK's Jemini visited Riga's Esplanade Park where they encountered a group of bikers.

Eurovision 2003 was streamed on the web, and presenting backstage from the green room were Ilze Jaunalksne and Divs Reiznieks.

For the first time this year, the scoreboard rearranged itself into ascending order of points as the voting went along. However at the point shown in the screenshot, things were thrown into confusion when the Bosnia-Herzegovinan spokeswoman decided not to award six points to anyone, causing host Renars to lose his temper a bit...

BBC Choice had become BBC3 earlier in the year, and was involved with the contest once again. The Liquid Eurovision preview shows were again presented by Lorraine Kelly in London, with Tim Muffett reporting from Riga. The Saturday night party was scaled back to Eurovision... A Little Bit More, an hour of reaction and analysis once the contest was over. Lorraine Kelly also took over the job of UK spokesperson from Colin Berry for the first of two occasions.

There was a new EBU scrutineer, Sarah Yuen, who held the role for this year only. Just before voting commenced she announced changes to the format of the contest from the following year - from 2004, there would be not one, but two Eurovision Song Contests!

A Junior Eurovision Song Contest was also held for the first time in November 2003.


2004

2004 saw possibly the biggest ever change to the contest - with an ever-expanding list of broadcasters wishing to enter the contest, a semi-final was held on the preceding Wednesday in order to whittle the 36 participants down to 24. The top ten scoring countries from the previous year, along with the 'Big Four' countries, were guaranteed a place in the final. The remaining places were taken by the top ten scorers from the semi-final.

All 36 entrants were permitted to vote on the final, however, regardless of whether they were taking part or not. As this considerably lengthened the voting process, a change was made to speed things up slightly, with the presenter no longer repeating the spokesperson's points in both English and French, but rather in just one of those languages - so if the spokeperson had announced their points in English (which most did by now), the presenter would repeat them in French.

Another important change this year was the introduction of the Eurovision Song Contest's first generic logo. Up to now, each contest had had its own unique logo. From now on, the main logo would remain the same from year to year, with only the centre heart, which represented the letter 'V', changing each year to depict the flag of the host country.

The themes of the last few years would continue, however, and there would continue to be graphics that were unique to that year's contest. 2004's slogan was 'Under the Same Sky', not that it was ever mentioned on the show at all, with graphics in the style of a cityscape.

The postcards showed scenes of the host country, ending with a woman flinging red hearts towards the camera. The show's venue was the Abdi Ipecki Stadium in Istanbul. The presenters were Meltem Cumbul and Korhan Abay, with reigning champion Sertab Erener talking to competitors in the green room. Svante Stockselius took over as the contest's scrutineer, remaining in this role until 2010.

The BBC opted to broadcast the semi-final on BBC3, with Paddy O'Connell commentating. The channel also broadcast preview shows for the final time. As Liquid News had recently ended, these were rebranded as Eurovision on Location and, as the name suggests, were presented entirely on location in Instanbul, by Paddy O'Connell and Lorraine Kelly. The shows featured chats with some of the contestants as well as clips of the preview videos.

Having returned to London to announce the UK's scores, Lorraine Kelly presented Eurovision... A Little Bit More, with Paddy O'Connell remaining in Istanbul for the after show party.

For the first time, a DVD of the Eurovision Song Contest was released, a two-disc set containing both the semi-final and Grand Final - though the DVD omitted the semi-final interval video featuring puppets of Abba.


2005

Eurovision 2005, the first to be produced in widescreen, was held at the Palace of Sports, Kiev. The presenters were Mariya Efrosinina and Pavlo Shylko, aka 'Masha and Pasha'. The new format introduced the previous year was continued, with a total of 39 countries taking part. The semi-final, however, was held on the Thursday before the final rather than on the Wednesday.

This year's theme was 'Awakening'. The postcards showed scenes of Ukraine, and were intended to 'reflect the character and country through the faces and characters of its people'. The UK's scores were announced by Cheryl Baker.

BBC3's coverage was scaled back this year. There was to be no more On Location or Eurovision... A Little Bit More - instead the channel used the commercial breaks to insert its own content. This has continued with all of the BBC's broadcasts of the semi-finals since then.


Next page: 2006-2009
Previous page: 1997-2001


Text copyright © Robert Williams, images copyright © the respective broadcasters