Eurovision: Graham Norton’s best jokes and one liners as song contest BBC commentator

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Graham Norton will return to the helm this evening as the BBC commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest final in Liverpool - here are his best jokes and one liners from years gone by.

Graham Norton is a BAFTA TV Award winning Irish presenter and broadcaster. From hosting his show The Graham Norton show on BBC to his BBC Radio 2 his funny quips and witty back and fourths with celebrities have made him a national treasure.

While many will know him from these other TV credits, in recent years he has become synonymous with the Eurovision Song Contest. He first served as the BBC’s television commentator for the show in 2009 following the resignation of Terry Wogan.

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He has since become a beloved part of the annual contest, and fans were over the moon when he confirmed he would be returning to the role this year. On the event being held in the UK for the first time since 1998, Norton said: "I think we are going through a golden age of the Eurovision Song Contest.

“I really think the shows of the last few years have been great, with really good songs. I still make jokes, but you are finding humour in different things. You can’t laugh at the acts anymore. The show is making big stars now - take Måneskin, for example. And it’s a bunch of really great songs too.”

Over the years Norton has made some iconic quips that left viewers crying with laughter, and we have no doubt he will be making more tonight. So, while you wait, here are his top ten Eurovision jokes from years gone by.

Graham Norton’s most memorable Eurovision jokes

Graham Norton, Julia Sanina and Rylan can be heard on rail services across the Liverpool City Region. Image: LCRGraham Norton, Julia Sanina and Rylan can be heard on rail services across the Liverpool City Region. Image: LCR
Graham Norton, Julia Sanina and Rylan can be heard on rail services across the Liverpool City Region. Image: LCR | LCR
  • “This year’s theme is celebrating diversity. Let’s see who they’ve chosen to host. Oh. It’s three white men.”
  • “You keep thinking this will make sense in a moment. But no.”
  • When the host spoke to members of the audience: “Nothing has gone wrong. This was planned.”
  • “The song is called ‘Alcohol is Free’. Ironic to sing that in Sweden, where it’s anything else. You have to sell your car to get a pint.”
  • When the 2014 host suggested older viewers may not understand hashtags: “Don’t patronise me Nikolaj. I’m 51, not dead!”
  • On Russia’s 2012 effort: “It’s an unusual Eurovision this year. There are lots of songs that are really quite good and brilliantly sung. This is not one of those.”
  • On Hungary’s 2016 entrant: “If it doesn’t work out for him, he’s always got his Hotel Management degree. I feel he’s going to use it.”
  • On a slightly slower transition with two hosts: “This is mellow to a fault.”
  • On the leather trousers on one act: “It must be like a paddling pool in there.”
  • On the opening in 2018: “Now it’s time for the flag ceremony. It’s a new tradition. It’s a way of making the show just that little bit longer.”

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