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  • Writer's pictureFord Carter

Who is Martin Österdahl? – Eurovision’s new Jon Ola Sand

Following ten years at the helm of the world’s biggest singing competition, it was time for Jon Ola Sand to take it away following the broadcast of ‘Eurovision: Europe Shine a Light’, and for Martin Österdahl to replace him as European Broadcasting Union’s (EBU) Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest.

So, let’s get to know a little bit about Martin Österdahl – Eurovision’s new Jon Ola Sand with a few key facts:

  • Martin has worked for Swedish Eurovision broadcaster SVT for many years, working as a program director and as Commissioner of Entertainment and Sport. With this role, he was responsible for the broadcasting of some of the biggest events in Sweden and Europe

  • He has an excellent track record with the EBU already, having been a member of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group between 2012 and 2018, and acting as Executive Producer for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö in 2013 and in Stockholm in 2016

  • Martin is an author who has written novels that have been translated into ten languages, and has written non-fiction works about management literature and project leadership

  • He was responsible for supervising the production and broadcast of the 2010 wedding of Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, and Daniel Westling (which was described as the biggest royal wedding in Europe since the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer)

  • Martin has also been responsible for the supervising the production of the annual Nobel Prize Ceremony from Stockholm, whose awards in chemistry, literature, physics, and physiology or medicine, are considered the largest event on the academic calendar (the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in a separate ceremony in Oslo)

As the Executive Supervisor, Martin’s role requires him to oversee the preparation and the organization of the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU. He and his team will provide the main point of contact for the participating broadcasters, and are in charge of operating the show on their behalf, making sure that the contest is run when possible each year.

What does that mean for Australia?

Inn an Aussievision interview at Australia Decides 2020 with Paul Clarke, Creative Director of Australia's Delegation and Director of Blink TV, he told us that:

"We're friends with Martin Österdahl, he was the Producer in Stockholm and Malmö, he was the first one to allow us to do a little piece (in the show). We're not saying we're looking for favouritism, but Martin is the best replacement you could possible hope for. He's an incredible diplomat, Martin is very calm... he won't get upset about things, he'll take it to another notch."

Jon Ola Sand

Since finishing his amazing and game-changing decade-long run as Executive Supervisor of the contest, Jon Ola Sand has now returned to Norway where he has begun a new role working at the head office of Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.

We here at Aussievision would like to congratulate Mr Jon Ola Sand on his ten amazing years of service and wish him the best of luck in his new role at NRK, and would also like to give a warm welcome to Martin Österdahl and wish him the best of luck in his first contest at Executive Supervisor.


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