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BBC omits refugee tribute from Eurovision… for comedy meatballs skit

Nick Duffy May 10, 2016

The BBC decided not to air a powerful Eurovision Song Contest intermission centred on the refugee crisis… in favour of a skit about eating meatballs.

Tuning into the first Eurovision semi-final on Tuesday evening, millions of viewers from across Europe were treated to dance performance piece ‘The Grey People’ – designed as a tribute to the refugee crisis.

However, viewers in the UK tuning into the BBC Four live show won’t know anything about it… as the UK feed instead cut away to a pre-recorded comedy segment featuring Mel Giedroyc cooking and eating meatballs.

The BBC also filled time with an interview with UK act ‘Joe and Jake’, and did not reference the powerful intermission taking place.


To viewers outside the UK, hosts Petra Mede and Mans Zelmerlow explained: “Right now Europe is facing one of its most difficult challenges in a very long time.

“Not only in Europe but around the world, 60 million people are at this moment refugees in search of a new home.”.

The moving segment included dozens of performers attempting to interpret the crisis through dance, conveying the powerful emotion and confusion involved in fleeing your home.

A Eurovision statement explains: “With Europe going through its worst crisis in decades, we stop for a moment and think about that identity truly means.

“What home truly means. This contemporary dance act tries to depict the people behind the tabloid statistics.

“The people that have left war torn countries behind in search for a brighter future. The people that risk everything to find a new home, on a new continent, with hope of restoring their identity.

“The idea is from the choreographer Benke Rydman.”

The BBC has frequently cut away from Eurovision intermission acts in the past, but the decision to not air the refugee segment is surprising due to praise heaped on it by those who did see it.

Though under the Eurovision rules broadcasters must show all competing acts, intermissions are not covered – and are sometimes used for ad breaks or interviews in other countries.

Check out the intermission below:

More: BBC, eurovision, eurovision song contest, lgb, meatball, meatballs, migrant, refugee, Television, tribute

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