The TV presenter has firmly cemented his association with the songfest, having taken over from Terry Wogan as the BBC’s Eurovision commentator last year and also hosted two series of Your Country Needs, the reality TV competition which last month selected 19-year-old Josh Dubovie, singing “That Sounds Good to Me”, as the UK’s 2010 Eurovision entry.
Just days before getting on a plane to meet Dubovie in Norway, Norton will join musical leading lady Sally Ann Triplett and Heart radio presenter Toby Anstis (who recently made his West End debut as Teen Angel in Grease, still running at the Piccadilly) on the judging panel for the third annual West End Eurovision, held at 11.30pm at the Piccadilly Theatre in aid of TheatreMAD (Theatre: Make a Difference), the charity which supports those living with HIV, AIDS and other long-term conditions.
In addition to Eurovision, Norton is of course no stranger to musicals. He made his own stage debut dragging up in the West End revival of La Cage aux Folles and continues to front, with Andrew Lloyd Webber, the BBC’s regular musical theatre competition series, including the current one, Over the Rainbow, to cast Dorothy in a forthcoming production of The Wizard of Oz.
On the night, casts from 11 West End musicals - Avenue Q, Billy Elliot, Dirty Dancing, Dreamboats & Petticoats, Legally Blonde, Les Miserables, Love Never Dies, The Phantom of the Opera, We Will Rock You, Wicked and last year’s winner Mamma Mia! - as well as a company from Jermyn Street Theatre will compete by putting their own stamp on a previous Eurovision song.
The contest will be decided by the audience, voting via text message. In addition, special guests Bardo will perform their 1982 Eurovision entry One Step Further”.
First broadcast on 24 May 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest is one of the longest-running television shows in the world. The UK first won the competition in 1967 with Sandie Shaw’s “Puppet on a String” and then again two years later with Lulu’s “Boom Bang-a-bang”. Other UK winners include “Brotherhood of Man” in 1976 and Bucks Fizz with “Making Your Mind Up” in 1981.
Tickets for West End Eurovision are priced £20, £25 and £35, with £50 premium seats including pre-show champagne and a complimentary programme. The show commences at 11.30pm and has an estimated running time of two hours. To book, call 0844 871 7630.
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