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 2006-2009; the other pages in this section cover 1956-1966, 1967-1975, 1976-1982, 1983-1989, 1990-1996, 1997-2001, 2002-2005, 2010-2013, 2014-2017 and 2018.

If you're more interested in the music, click here for our reviews of the contests from 2006-2009.


2006

The Eurovision Song Contest arrived in Athens in 2006 for a show presented by the 'amazing' American presenter Maria Menounos and former Greek entrant Sakis Rouvas. The theme was 'Feel the Rhythm', and the logo was inspired by the Phaistos Disc, an ancient artefact from the island of Crete. The stage design was designed to mimic the appearance of an ancient Greek theatre.

Each postcard began with one of a trio of young women opening some shutters, which led into various scenes of Greece.

The voting period was begun by the Greek singer Nana Mouskouri swinging round a giant egg timer, which had some problems staying upright, leading to Nana having to hold it to stop it swinging back round again. She had performed at the contest in 1963, representing Luxembourg.

As the voting over the past two years had taken far too long, with nearly forty countries coming on the announce their points, a change was made this year to speed things up a bit. From now on, each country's points from 1-7 were put onto the scoreboard straight away, with the national spokespeople (including Fearne Cotton for the UK) announcing only the 8, 10 and 12 point scores.

The voting process was instead slowed down this year by a lengthy, unfunny routine by the Netherlands' spokesperson Paul de Leeuw - aka the 'eejit', according to Terry Wogan. Overall, though, the show ran some 22 minutes shorter than the previous year's.


2007

The theme of the 2007 contest was 'True Fantasy'. It was presented from the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki by Jaana Pelkonen and Mikko Leppilampi, with Krisse Salminen presenting from the green room. The postcards consisted of vignettes featuring people in different parts of Finland.

Rather than the trophy be presented to the winning contestant by last year's winner, as is traditional, the prize was awarded by none other than Father Christmas!

Fearne Cotton announced the UK's points for the second of two consecutive occasions. Paddy O'Connell commentated on the semi-final for the fourth time, but this year was joined by a co-presenter, Sarah Cawood.

The contest was produced in high definition for the time, with the BBC broadcasting the Grand Final on its BBC HD channel.


2008

The 2008 contest saw a change in format, with there now being two semi-finals in the week leading up to the Grand Final on Saturday night, described in more detail on our review page. Each of the shows was hosted by Jovana Jankovic and previous Eurovision entrant Zeljko Joksimovic, while Branislav Katic and Kristina Radenkovic presented from the green room.

The contest's theme was 'Confluence of Sound', inspired by the fact that the host city, Belgrade, is located where the Rivers Danube and Sava conjoin. The postcards, filmed in a studio, involved people (such as ballet students for the UK) forming the flag of the competing country, with a short message from Serbia to the home country written across the screen in their language.

Although no one knew it at the time, this year would mark Terry Wogan's final Eurovision commentary for the BBC. Paddy O'Connell and Caroline Flack commentated on the semi-finals, and Carrie Grant announced the UK's points in the final.


2009

A new version of the Eurovision symbol made its debut this year, with a new sequence rendered in 3D graphics. A longer version of 'Te Deum' was restored, re-recorded in jauntier form. The contest's own opening title sequence featured large CGI 3D letters in locations around the host city spelling out words such as 'MOSCOW' and 'EUROVISION'.

For the only time, the semi-finals had different presenters to the final. The semi-finals were hosted by Natalia Vodianova and Andrey Malahov, and the final was presented by Alsou Abramova, who had represented Russia at the contest in 2000, and Ivan Urgant.

The postcards were some of the most sophisticated yet seen at Eurovision. They featured fast-moving cut-out images, landmarks and people representing the competing country, which at the end were revealed to make up a hat worn by Ksenia Sukhinova, the reigning Miss World. There was no slogan this year, but the graphics made use of a 'fantasy bird' motif.

Terry Wogan had stood down from commentating for the UK, and so his place was taken this year by Graham Norton, who has continue in the role on every Eurovision final since. The semi-finals on BBC3 reverted to the commentary team of two years earlier, Paddy O'Connell and Sarah Cawood.

The UK's points were announced by Duncan James of the band Blue, who would themselves represent the UK at the contest two years later.


Next page: 2010-2013
Previous page: 2002-2005


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