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  • Writer's pictureFord Carter

The Longest-Serving Eurovision Commentators

Myf and Joel are currently doing their fourth Contest, Julia and Sam did eight while Graham Norton for the UK racks up 12 (or douze) Eurovisions this year.

But all three aren't even close to some of the longest serving commentators we've seen at Eurovision.

Here is the Top 10:

10 – Jørgen de Mylius for Denmark (23 years)

Jørgen de Mylius was the Eurovision commentator for Danish broadcaster DR for a total of twenty-three contests between 1978 and 1990, and then again from 1992 to 1998, before coming back for a third and final time between 2003 and 2005.

Jørgen started working for DR in their radio department in 1963 until 1977, when he transferred to their television department. He has hosted the Danish national final Dansk Melodi Grand Prix eleven times, alongside his twenty-three times commentating for the Eurovision Song Contest.

Besides his work with DR and Eurovision, Jørgen has written biographies of well-known musicians such as Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley, and Jodie Birge.

9 – Jean-Marc Richard for Switzerland (23 years)

Jean-Marc Richard has been the French-language Eurovision commentator for Swiss broadcaster RTS for a total of twenty-three contests between 1993 and 1995, 1998 and 2000, and then since 2003. Jean-Marc has co-commentated alongside Marie-Thérèse Porchet (2005), Alain Morisod (2006), Henri Dès (2007), Bastian Baker (2019), and Nicolas Tanner (since 2007).

Jean-Marc has hosted a number of music shows on RTS, including commentating for the Swiss national final Die Entscheidungsshow, and has hosted the beauty pageant Miss Switzerland.

Prior to his work with RTS, Jean-Marc undertook an apprenticeship as a bookseller, and was the President of the first Youth Parliament in Switzerland.

8 – Tomaž Terček for Yugoslavia (23 years)

Tomaž Terček was the Slovene-language Eurovision commentator for Yugoslavian broadcaster JRT for a total of twenty-three contests between 1961 and 1978, and then again between 1980 and 1984.

Tomaž spent many years working for Radio Ljubljana and TV Slovenia in a multitude of roles, include as a sports reporter, editor, commentator, and presenter. One of his most memorable moments in his role as a newscaster was informing the Slovene public of the death of Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito in 1980.

7 – Artur Orzech for Poland (24 years)

Artur Orzech has been the Eurovision commentator for Polish broadcaster TVP for a total of twenty-four contests between 1992 and 1995, and then since 1998 (with the exception of 2012 and 2013, when the contest was not broadcast in Poland). Artur has co-commentated alongside Maria Szabłowska in 1992 and 1993.

Alongside the Eurovision Song Contest, Artur has also conducted Krajowy Festiwal Piosenki Polskiej w Opolu (the National Festival of Polish Song in Opole) and the Sopot Festival on many occasions, as well as commentated for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and hosted the Polish national final.

6 – Marko Reikop for Estonia (25 years)

Marko Reikop has been the Eurovision commentator for Estonian broadcasters ERR and Raadio 2 for a total of twenty-five contests. Marko provided radio commentary for Raadio 2 in 1994, and then again between 1996 and 1998, before transferring to providing commentary for television broadcaster ERR. Marko has co-commentated alongside Olav Osolin (2009), and Sven Lõhmus (2010).

Marko is also one of the longest-running hosts of the Estonian preselection for Eurovision, known as Eurolaul until 2008, and Eesti laul since 2009. He has hosted the show from 1996 to 2008, and then in 2013, 2015, and 2017.

5 – Ernst Grissemann for Austria (25 years)

Ernst Grissemann was the Eurovision commentator for Austrian broadcaster ORF for a total of twenty-five contests between 1970 and 1978, 1981 and 1989, and then again between 1992 and 1998.

Ernst has worked with ORF and its radio stations for decades, and has commentated for other major events such as the world-famous New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic (which he did for twenty-five years). Ernst also writes for the Tyrolean Daily Newspaper as a columnist and does voice-overs for advertising.

4 – Theodore Haller for Switzerland (25 years)

Theodor Haller was the German-language Eurovision commentator for Swiss broadcaster SRF for a total of twenty-five contests between 1958 and 1978, and then again between 1980 and 1983.

Theodor was a journalist and trained historian who worked for Swiss newspapers and broadcasters from the United Kingdom. As well as commentating for the Eurovision Song Contest, he also provided commentary for royal events such as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Diana.

3 – Bülend Özveren for Turkey (27 years)

Bülend Özveren was the Eurovision commentator for Turkish broadcaster TRT for a total of twenty-seven contests between 1973 and 1981, 1988 and 1989, 1992 and 1997, 2002 and 2006, and then again between 2008 and 2012. Bülend has co-commentated alongside Didem Tolunay (2004), and Erhan Konuk (2011 and 2012).

Bülend started working for TRT back in 1965, and is fluent in Turkish, English, and French.

2 – Ken Bruce for the United Kingdom (32 years)

Ken Bruce has been the Eurovision commentator for the United Kingdom’s broadcaster BBC Radio 2 for a total of thirty-two contests since 1988.

Ken started working for BBC Radio 2 in 1980, and presented the Eurovision Song Contest Previews on BBC1 for three years from 1989 to 1991.

Honourable Mention - Carolina Norén for Sweden (19 years)

As the entire top ten list if made up of male commentators, we thought we'd add in Carolina Norén from Sweden, who had commentated for Sveriges Radio (SR) for nineteen years from 1999 to 2017.

Alongside commentating for the Eurovision Song Contest, Carolina also provides commentary for the radio broadcast of Melodifestivalen (which does not have commentary on its television broadcast) on SR.

1 – Terry Wogan for the United Kingdom (36 years)

When it comes to Eurovision, many people's minds go to one man in particular - the late Sir Terry Wogan.

Terry Wogan was the Eurovision commentator for the United Kingdom’s broadcasters BBC and BBC Radio 2 for a total of thirty-six contests. He provided radio commentary for BBC Radio 2 in 1971, before commentating for television for a year in 1973. He returned to radio commentary between 1974 and 1977. He returned to providing commentary for the BBC in 1978, before going without a break between 1980 and 2008.

Terry Wogan was not just the voice for Eurovision in the United Kingdom. SBS aired the BBC broadcast of the contest, complete with Sir Terry's commentary, for over two decades in Australia, and for many Australian fans of the contest, he was the voice of the contest when they grew up as well.

All of these commentators have helped the Contest become what they are. Let's hope some of the modern day commentators can also have extensive and impactful stints.


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