It’s coming. Every year you say you won’t do it. You’ll be strong and focused. You’ll spend the evening doing something worthy, improving and time-consuming, such as reading War and Peace, qualifying as a vet, or redecorating the house.
But you know in your heart that come 8pm on a given Saturday in May, you’ll be in front of Beeb One. Worse, in a development of recent years, by that stage you may already have sat through the semis. You may even hate yourself a tiny bit for it.
So, for kindness’ sake, here are my suggestions to add value to an evening that is already, let’s face it, a write-off.
- Google Eddie Izzard’s different takes on Engelbert’s name and try to say them aloud with a straight face. Works well on your own, or prize for the winner if you have company. Makes children laugh.
- If you can, hit the red button for sing-a-long lyrics and translations, share texted wit and wisdom and some backstage shenanigans.
- Do something with your hands. Create a set of matching Jedward pincushions or dartboards. There are plenty of craft sites out there – what’s the matter with you?
- Fancy yourself as a pundit? Download the scorecards (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0070hvg/features/party) and award marks. Whoever’s selections most closely match the actual result wins the creative efforts from point 3 above.
- Have a flutter: http://www.eurovisionodds.co.uk/
- Do the nice thing and throw a Eurovision Party. Decorate the living room http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0070hvg/features/party if you feel like spending ink.
- Serve Euro-inspired party food: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/collections/eurovision_party_ideas Warning. Be selective based on your digestive capacity; baba ganoush followed by chocolate profiteroles, washed down with home-made Irish cream liqueur might look good on paper, but not on the floor.
- Google some Eurovision drinking game rules (they are legion), read, share and apply liberally. Even more fun to develop your own.
- Don’t get mad over the voting. Brainstorm a ‘Top Ten Pairs of Countries Least Likely to Vote for Each Other.’ Update annually.
- As the evening is also often one of nostalgia, draw up a shortlist of most epic Eurovision moments. Could be of epic success or epic failure. For example, I’ll give you the majesty of Finland’s 2006 win by Lordi for starters.
Why not send me your survival tips. Please.