One of the most famous winners of the Eurovision Song Contest no longer watches the broadcast as it "means nothing" for popular music.

Benny Andersson of Abba, who co-wrote the Swedish pop band's 1974 Eurovision winner Waterloo, criticised the irrelevance of the annual song competition.

"What it is now is possibly a great television event, but for music it means nothing," he told BBC News.

"I don't watch Eurovision, it's become so huge."

Andersson added: "It was smaller scale then [in 1974] than it is now. It might have been a little bit more meaningful in the 50s and 60s and when we entered but after that, I'm not sure if anything ever happened."

The songwriter said the show was a good spectacle, "if you can bear sitting for such a long time".

He continued: "Musically it's not what it should be. But as television it's a good show."

Andersson's criticism comes after DJ Terry Wogan, the long-term host of the BBC coverage of the song contest, quit the role in frustration at alleged bloc voting on the continent.

After the UK entry sung by a former X Factor contestant finished in last place in 2008, Wogan said he was not interested in "presiding over yet another debacle".

"Andy Abraham gave, I think, the performance of his life with a song that certainly deserved far more points than it got when you look at the points that Spain got, that Bosnia-Herzegovina got - some really ridiculous songs," he added last year.

This year's British entry, It's My Time, is sung by Jade Ewen and was co-written by West End impresario Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.


12/05/2009 13:11:08