It’s that time of year again, when innocent televisions are taken over by the gaudy camp of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Being a professional grump, I can generally live without spending hours listening to thrash rock/folk/metal/bubble gum pop performed by people wearing vague representations of national costumes or what can only be described as ‘leather accessories’ (I’ve seen the trailers). And when did Graham Norton turn into Captain Birdseye? With the best will in the word, his chin now sports what can only be described as ‘a beard too far.’
I have to say that the show’s lighting is spectacular, but only as a gratuitous means of mentioning that the bloke in charge of this is my cousin. Obviously, I’ve taught him everything he knows (not).
Then we come to Eurovision’s wobbly grasp of geography. Winners have come from Turkey and Israel. The former has designs on being in Europe, but let’s face it, the latter is going to struggle on that one. Which rather reminds me of some of the cars we drive, a number of which are rather less European than they appear. Take the Vauxhall Antara 4×4, which, since it’s made in Korea, is screwed together some way out of the Euro zone. However, the Kia cee’d, a nice thing whose name gives grammar snobs hives, is a Korean car with a European pedigree, since its engineered in Germany and built in Slovakia –a country which is also a serial Eurovision attendee, but as far as I know hasn’t actually won (according to Google. I’m sure fans will soon put me right if it has).
Then we come to the Nissan Qashqai and Juke. Ostensibly Japanese, but in fact made in the north east of England. There’s something quite Eurovision about these two as they both have daft names, and, I’m going to stick my neck out here, the Juke is a strange looking thing. Even its biggest fan couldn’t really describe this car as conventionally beautiful, but rather like the bearded, dress wearing Austrian 2014 Eurovision winner Conchita Wurz, it looks like nothing else and has won a lot of fans as a result. Whether the cross dressing diva or Nissan would welcome the comparison remains to be seen, but it is, oddly enough, a compliment to both of them.