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Spectator editor denies complaining that Eurovision is ‘too gay’

Nick Duffy April 29, 2015
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The editor of the Spectator has rubbished reports that he claimed the Eurovision Song Contest has become “too gay”.

Fraser Nelson, who edits the conservative magazine, appeared last week at an academic conference celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The New Statesman claimed earlier this week that Mr Nelson said Eurovision had been “reduced to the level of a musical gay pride march” following the victory of drag artist Conchita Wurst – adding that he prefers the model in Sweden, where both Eurovision and selection contest Melodifestivalen are seen as “family shows”.

However, Mr Nelson has denied that he ever made the comments, attributing them to a panel moderator. He has also called on the New Statesman to issue a correction.

He told the Independent: “I didn’t say it was ‘too gay’ – nor would I ever make such a daft remark.

“I was talking about how Eurovision is portrayed in the UK. The idea of Eurovision being ‘too camp’ to be a family show is, to me, not just bizarre, but repugnant.

“As I said at the Eurovision panel, one of the contest’s great strengths is that it embodies the values of tolerance and it exports those values in a vivid way to places where they are still to be accepted.”

The 60th anniversary celebrations previously met with controversy last month, when PinkNews revealed that the BBC had removed scenes of Russia being booed over anti-gay laws from a broadcast of live show Eurovision’s Greatest Hits.

History was made at the event when the contest’s first transgender winner Dana International and the contest’s first drag queen winner Conchita Wurst performed ABBA song ‘Waterloo’ together.

The 60th Eurovision Song contest will take place in Vienna next month on May 23 – a day after the Republic of Ireland is set to hold a referendum on same-sex marriage.

Related topics: contest, EBU, Europe, European Broadcast Union, eurovision, eurovision song contest, Gay, LGBT, Music, song, Television

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