Robert Hampton

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10th May 2014

Power to the People
Posted by at 7.58pm | Television | No responses

It’s Eurovision final night, AKA “The Gay FA Cup Final”. Join me over on Twitter, where I will be waxing lyrical throughout the whole night.

Recent years have seen the UK performing quite poorly, however this year things look a bit more promising, as the BBC have employed the crafty strategy of entering a half-decent song. Could this be our year?

Regardless of how well we do, it’s always a good laugh. Nigel Farage reportedly hates it, which is enough of a reason to sit back and enjoy the show, as far as I’m concerned.

20th May 2013

From Vikings we’re descended, it’s frightening what those men did
Posted by at 7.52pm | Music, Television | No responses

Eurovision (aka Farage’s Nightmare) was an absolute delight this year. I watched it with laptop by my side, watching a constant stream of commentary and gentle mockery on Twitter. It felt like a club of bitchy gays had banded together online.

It helped that the show put on by SVT was one of the best Eurovision shows I’ve seen in ages. The aren’t many hosts that could capably handle a three hour telecast to 100 million people, but Petra Mede – a super-trouper if ever there was one – was great. She turned out to be that rarest of Eurovision hosts – one who does jokes that were actually funny. Here’s her interval act, Swedish Smörgåsbord, a brilliant musical number which celebrated Sweden while also offering enough self-parody to keep it bearable. Also, it contained the word “titties” and a gay wedding.

No real standout songs, apart from the Romanian entry Cezar, who delivered an amazing falsetto performance while dressed like a 1980s Doctor Who villain and surrounded by scantily clad dancers. It really was the campest thing imaginable.

Then there was the Irish entry, Ryan Dolan, who came dead last. Sorry about that Ryan – I voted for you, although I can’t quite put my finger on the reason why…

Ryan Dolan's sexy dancers

As expected, Britain’s song failed to make much of an impact, with Bonnie Tyler’s effort only finishing 19th. However, that hardly seems to matter in an overall fantastic show. The Hampton jury gives Sweden 12 points!

14th May 2011

Posted by at 3.59pm | Music, Television | No responses

Blue promo shot for EurovisionI will be watching the Eurovision Song Contest tonight at the Mersey Tart‘s house, in the company of his partner Dave and our friends Jamie and Roy. This gathering is sure to be gayer than the cast of Glee singing Kylie Minogue’s greatest hits in a Soho leather bar on a stage made out of condoms.

There are two lazy received opinions about Eurovision which get aired endlessly around this time of year. One is that it is a dated, cheesy waste of money which is irrelevant to modern life and should be scrapped forthwith. You could say the same thing about the Royal Family, and look how popular they are at the moment.

The other complaint is that the contest is ruined by political voting, where countries vote for their nearest neighbours, especially in recent years as a horde of Eastern European countries have rushed to join in the fun. One person expressing these opinions is James Ball in the Guardian who writes, “an examination of Eurovision voting data has confirmed a persistent voting gripe – the eastern European voting bloc indeed exists, and is now all but unbeatable.”

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31st December 2009

2009? More like Woo! Thousand and Nine!

Was this year an exciting way to say goodbye to the decade? Here’s a reminder of what happened on planet Hampo this year (part 2, hopefully, follows tomorrow):-

January started out with one of my favourite shows being revived. Despite being up against EastEnders and being hosted by Ben Shepherd, the Krypton Factor did well enough to be recommissioned for a second series. We found out Who would replace David Tennant, and a year later we still haven’t actually seen him in the role. ITV’s latest attempt to ape the success of Doctor Who was Demons which failed spectacularly; the only creative thing about it being the number of different excuses the writers found for Christian Cooke to remove clothing.

In the wider world, various eras were drawing to a close, as Woolworths closed its doors, Tony Hart kicked the bucket and Dubya left office. Meanwhile, yours truly had an enjoyable night in London Theatreland.

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16th May 2009


Some quick turnaround thoughts on this year’s Eurovision…

  • Well done Norway, a great song which deserved to win;
  • Well done Jade and Andrew Lloyd-Webber for a strong showing (5th place!);
  • Well done BBC for taking the contest moderately seriously (well, as seriously as a ludicrous international music show can be taken) and making the effort to promote the song by putting Jade on various European TV shows over the last few months;
  • Well done Graham Norton, who was much better than I expected and got the tone of the commentary about right, i.e. gentle mockery while avoiding some of the more excessive whinging that Wogan tended to indulge in;
  • Well done EBU for changing the voting system to avoid the Eastern bloc dominance.

Well done everyone!

27th May 2008

Posted by at 5.51pm | Music, Television | No responses

Say it ain’t so! Terry Wogan is thinking of quitting as Eurovision commentator after claims that the regional bias in the voting has become excessive.

Cyprus voting for Greece has been a running joke for years. However, the new claim is that the former Soviet and Balkan states, who have joined the contest relatively recently, are unfairly advantaged by the voting system. Both Italy and Austria have pulled out of the contest in recent years in protest at this state of affairs.

But is it true? I took the Results table at Wikipedia, pasted it into Excel (and you would not believe how problematic that simple task was) and did some playing around.

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