Graham Norton says ‘it’s been quite an eventful Eurovision’ as final takes place

TV chat show host Graham Norton said “it’s been quite an eventful Eurovision this year” as the annual song contest kicked off.

The music competition is taking place in Malmo Arena after Swedish singer Loreen won the contest last year with her song Tattoo.

As the competition got under way on Saturday, Norton, 61, who is the commentator for coverage on BBC One said: “It’s been quite an eventful Eurovision this year, but hopefully tonight we will bring you the usual beauty, mayhem, madness and of course, male nudity.”

This year protesters have called for a boycott of Eurovision over Israel’s inclusion in the contest amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

During the grand final the country’s entry, Eden Golan, performed her song Hurricane to audible boos and cheers in the arena.

Irish TV presenter Norton described the crowd as having a “mixed reaction”.

He added: “In some of the open rehearsals we heard more booing, but there was quite a lot of cheering tonight as well and I should tell you that that song is tipped to do very well tonight.”

Elsewhere the UK’s entry for the contest, Years & Years singer Olly Alexander, took to the stage in a high-octane performance of his song Dizzy.

In response, actress Hannah Waddingham, who co-hosted the contest last year when it took place in Liverpool, posted to X, formerly Twitter: “Come on Olly Alexander!!! Let’s do this!!!!!!”

Alexander, 33, later shared a video to his Instagram stories which appeared to show him crying following his performance.

He also posted a clip of the Eurovision hopefuls dancing backstage and said: “Malmo, I love you.”

The Netherlands entry Joost Klein was disqualified from the final for what a Dutch radio and television broadcaster called a “threating movement” from the singer towards a camerawoman and this meant the slot for song number five was skipped.

Alexander shared the voting numbers for his performance Dizzy ahead of him taking to the stage.

On social media, he said: “Here’s all the voting numbers for Dizzy if you feel so inclined to vote for me! Thank u !! don’t forget i love u all.”

The first performance of the night was from Swedish pop duo Marcus And Martinus, who sang their song Unforgettable.

They were followed by Ukraine’s Alyona Alyona and Jerry Heil who sang Teresa And Maria.