Posts Tagged ‘commentator’

On Reaching D2: Tonight I’ll Be The US Commentator For The Eurovision Song Contest

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Not long after attending my first Eurovision Song Contest (Moscow 2009) I wrote this:

Terry Wogan’s continuous thirty-year run as Commentator for Eurovision started in 1980, when he was 42. Graham Norton started commentating on Eurovision in 2009, aged 46. Paddy O’Connell started commentating on the Eurovision Semi Finals aged 38. Ken Bruce started commentating on Eurovision for Radio 2 aged 37.

For the record, I’ll be 35 in May next year, which gives me some time (not that I’m counting) but if anyone down at Wood Lane [Television Centre] wants to give me a call…

So, let’s add a few more data points to add to that list:

Scott Mills started commentating on the Eurovision Semi Finals aged 37.

Ewan Spence started commentating on Eurovision aged 43.

In just over an hour,  I’ll be taking to the airwaves across America as part of the first Eurovision Song Contest commentary team for the US radio broadcast. I’ll going to tell the longer story of this adventure over the next week or so, but I do want to put a marker down before the show starts, and type this out in full.

Tonight, I’ll be a commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest.

The list of thank you’s to get to this point is huge, but for now; Dave Cargill, Tony Currie, Lisa-Jayne Lewis, Ana-Filipa Rosa, Sharleen Wright, Ellie Chalkley, John Egan, John-Paul Lucas, Vikki Spence, Eilidh, Mairi, my family, to everyone else I’ve met and who has helped me on this journey… Thank you.

And now… let the Eurovision Song Contest begin!

The VR voice you need to listen to

Monday, March 28th, 2016

You’re going to read a lot about Virtual Reality over the next few months and years. Today saw the Occulus Rift VR headset reach the public (although only those who pre-purchased, don’t go looking on a store shelf for it just yet). Lots of people are going to be exploring this space, many have changed careers to do so, but most people just want a voice that can cut through it all with enthusiasm and joie de vivre.

Like this:

One of the most common criticisms I see leveled against VR is that it’s only capable of delivering vertical slices of games, or gimmicky set pieces. That VR simply can’t provide the complete, polished, and immersive game experiences we’re accustomed to on PC, consoles, and handhelds. Even though modern VR is still in its infancy, there are already a number of games to counter that argument. One of them — Lucky’s Tale — will come bundled for free when the Oculus Rift launches on March 28 [today].

With the caveat that he’s a Forbes contributor like myself, you need to bookmark Jason Evangelho for the new world.

Hello, I’m Ewan Spence, and I’ll be the United Kingdom’s Eurovision Commentator later this month

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

This year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest takes place at 6pm (UK time) November 30th at the National Place of Arts “Ukraina” in Kyiv, and for the first time since 2005 it will be broadcast in the UK. No Eurovision show airing in the UK would be complete without a commentary team, so I am very excited to tell you that I will be one of the UK’s Eurovision Commentators.

Joining me will be Luke Fisher, who many of you will have heard on our Alternative Commentaries over the last few years. I guess we won’t be doing an alternative commentary this year.

So, the broadcast. None of the UK broadcasters who are members of the EBU were ready to enter Junior Eurovision this year, which meant that the rights were available to EBU and non-EBU members. Naturally EBU members had first refusal, then other stations and channels could be considered. As I’m already working with Castle FM for the Edinburgh Nights chat show, so it was a small step to consider bringing Junior Eurovision back to the UK through local radio.

Discussions happened… (and let’s leave it at that) …and skipping to the end, Castle FM will be broadcasting Junior Eurovision live to Edinburgh and The Lothians on November 30th, with one team in the Leith studios and a remote team in Ukraine providing the audio.

This is going to be fun! Challenging and exciting, for sure, but fun!


80% of start-ups launched by the over 35’s

Monday, July 4th, 2011

And Terry Wogan didn’t host his first Eurovision until he was 42. There’s hope yet!

Time to vote on my Eurovision 2010 Tweets

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Following on from a similar poll last year, it’s time to look back at the tweet coverage I did of the Eurovision Song Contest, and to pick out the line most likely to appear on a T-Shirt. yes it’s time to ask “what was your favourite line of my Eurovision coverage?”

[poll id="4”]

Just for fun, you understand, but if your favourite isn’t here, you can always add it into the comments!

Your commentator, hard at work

Just Call Me the Renegade Eurovision Host

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Thanks to Lisa Devaney for a quote that, if I were looking for an advertising strap-line, would be right up there on the top of the poster. This Renegade Eurovision Host was interviewed by Devaney last month about my adventures at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, and my use of Web 2.0 technologies. Specifically the live coverage of the contest on Twitter and my audio commentary podcast.

Twitter got noisy surrounding Eurovision, as it sparked hundreds of amusing tweets about the song contest, and gave rise to an alternative tweeting voice when journalist Ewan Spence used Twitter to cover the event from the show’s frontline in Moscow, sending tweets, blogging and podcasting from the event.


This ‘new way to watch’ has been picked up by many people; Adam Tinworth wrote about it just before the contest had started, giving his readers a heads-up, many people on Twitter pointed out my @ewanspence account when asked who they should follow to stay in touch with Eurovision, and the Media140 Conference in London the week after Eurovision featured a number of discussions about the coverage and how it helped get many people through the night.

One final thought from Devaney:

He [Spence] out-tweeted much of the official BBC correspondents by speed of updates and depth of information, winning rave reviews from followers. Several said they preferred the commentary of the renegade Eurovision tweet host to the banter of Graham Norton’s debut year as Eurovision host.

You can read the full article over at the Digital Journal.

Starting My Next Adventure – I’m Off To Moscow and The Eurovision Song Contest

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

This Tuesday, I left a rather cryptic message on Twitter:

I have in my hand a piece of paper from the Russian Consulate. Now very happy.

That piece of paper was my Russian Business Visa.


It joins a number of other ‘pieces of paper,’ including return tickets on British Midland from Edinburgh to Moscow; a reservation for a central Moscow hotel, a guide to the Moscow metro and specifically how to get to the Olimpiyski Stadium, and full press accreditation for a certain music event…

I’m going to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest!!!

Naturally I’ll be bring coverage from Russia to you all, and providing a brilliant look at Eurovision from a slightly different angle to anything you’ve seen been before. I fly on Saturday May 9th, so I’ll be there for the final stage rehearsals on Sunday, and then the dress rehearsals and live shows that make up the two semi-finals and the Grand Final on Saturday May 16th.

Do be aware that I really am a dedicated Eurovision follower, so if you’re expecting snarky and bitchy comments, you won’t find them here. But you will find the wit you all know from my other event coverage, and I do subscribe to the Wogan rule of “if it’s a duck, call it a duck.”


So what sort of coverage can you expect? Well first up there’ll be a bundle of coverage in a number of places, all of which I’ll link to from here. Most of the in depth written posts will be on The Stage’s website, but I’m also working on the following:

A Beginners Guide To Eurovision

A set of videos to introduce the concept of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC), how it works,a and what to watch for over Eurovision Week (9-16th May). These will be ideally suited to introduce your friends to the ESC and how it all works, or if you’re one of my many readers from outside Europe who have no idea what this is all about. These should start running one a day from early next week.

Daily Eurovision News

A video news bulletin from the stadium , running from Monday 9th right through to the morning of the final on Saturday the 16th May. I’ll announce my co-presenter at some point next week. If you are going to be at the Contest, drop me an email, am looking to have as many voices and faces as possible on this news show.

The Alternative Commentary Track

Here’s probably the biggest challenge. The big news, at least in the UK, is that (a) Terry Wogan is no longer doing the commentary and (b) Graham Norton is taking over the role this year. This is going to be the first Eurovision since 1979 that has not been voiced by Wogan, so it’s going to sound really strange to many of us

That change, of course, opens up an opportunity. What if you don’t want to listen to Graham Norton? Or what if you’re watching the live stream from that has no commentary, because that’s preferable,or you are in a country (such as the USA) which doesn’t have the show broadcast? What do you do for a commentator then?

That’s where I’m stepping up. I’ll have an audio commentary available to everyone watching Eurovision as an alternative to the mainstream. You too can enjoy the dulcet tones of a Scotsman, in Russia, chairing a very special episode hacked together online version of Eurovision, all for free.

Unless of course Graham Norton falls down some more stairs, in which case the BBC know where to find me (and yes, I do have an alibi).

Twitter Coverage

In previous years, my Twitter Stream ( has acted as a running commentary (in text) for many of you, and anyone who was there for last year’s contest will know how much fun that can be. Those new to twitter may have seen my at work during the UK Selection contest, or the Junior Eurovision or Eurovision Dance contests.

I’ll be posting all my Eurovision news through the Twitter stream as well so if you grab the RSS feed of this site ( and follow me on Twitter (@ewanspence) then you won’t miss a thing!


And being the internet, you don’t need to tell anyone else you’re secretly going to enjoy the Song Contest – it’ll be between you and me…

BBC Election Coverage, Now With Political Bloggers

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Sitting up catching the start of the Results Coverage of the Local Council and London Mayoral elections on the BBC, and I have to say congratulations to whoever decided that inviting three of the UK Political Bloggers into the ‘secondary’ studio would be a good idea, because it is. Those representing ‘us’ are…

While the main studio is the usual BBC holdout of Dimbley, three politicians, the political correspondent and the academic, over at City Hall the bloggers are being regarded as full commentators, rather than a sideshow to be giggled at. Good. More at the BBC Election Coverage page.

I’m still holding on my prediction that Dale will be on the full Question Time panel by the end of the year.