Graham was in Dublin for the premiere of Amazon Prime’s LOL: Last One Laughing Ireland when Metro.co.uk caught up with him about his Eurovision predictions.
He gave a little expert insight into Olly’s prospects as he told us the Years and Years singer’s chances of winning are ‘really good’.
‘You never know, it’s all on the night,’ the legend continued, before letting slip a slightly (okay, very) biased endorsement of one country in particular.
Graham Norton has a little bias in his Eurovision predictions (Picture: Scott Garfitt/Prime Video)
The star was promoting his new show in Dublin at the time (Picture: Scott Garfitt/Prime Video)
Laughing, he added: ‘You know, Ireland will win again! They will! Hope springs eternal.’
Of course, the County Dublin-born star is rooting for his home country, especially while on home turf surrounded by his Irish comedy friends, including Aisling Bea and Jason Byrne.
The 60-year-old presenter has been the voice of Eurovision for the UK since 2009, taking over from the beloved Sir Terry Wogan and instantly becoming a highlight of the contest.
He took on hosting duties for the UK last year in Liverpool(Credits: PA)
Olly Alexander will perform for the UK at Eurovision 2024 (Picture: David Fisher/Shutterstock)
Graham shared: ‘The UK were so down in the dumps for years and then along came Sam, so, it can happen.’
Ireland has not yet announced its entry, with six acts ready to compete for the honour on The Late Late Eurosong Special, hosted by Patrick Kielty.
However, unlike the ‘big five’ – UK, Italy, Germany, France, and Spain – Irish entries must work their way to the final rather than getting an automatic slot.
The island is usually pretty successful with its position in the song contest and is tied with Sweden for the most number of wins, including first winner Dana with All Kinds Of Everything in 1970.
When did Ireland last win Eurovision?
Despite winning the competition a record seven times, since 2018 Ireland has failed to qualify for the final of Eurovision – except for 2020.
In 2018 however, Ryan O’Shaughnessy managed a respectable 16th place with his song Together. The competition was won that year by Israel’s Netta who sang Toy.
Ireland’s last win came in 1996 with Eimear Quinn’s The Voice, the country’s fourth win in a five-year run.
This meant the following year was hosted in Dublin, making it the sixth time the capital city had hosted – with only one year break in Millstreet in 1993.
A winning streak began in 1992 with Linda Martin’s Why Me, followed by Niamh Kavanagh’s In Your Eyes, and then Paul Harrington and Charlie McGettigan taking the top spot with Rock ‘n’ Roll Kids in 1994.
Johnny Logan has the most Irish wins to his name, winning in both 1980 and 1987 with What’s Another Year? and Hold Me Now, respectively.
The first-ever Irish Eurovision winner was Dana in 1970 who wowed crowds with the ballad All Kinds of Everything – yes, a ballad really can win.
There’s still a long way to go before the big final, which airs on Saturday, May 11, and at the moment Ireland is quite low in the odds to win, mainly due to the fact their entry has not been announced.
Olly has already impressed bookies, without even announcing his song, as he sits as favourite to win at the top of the odds, alongside Ukraine, Italy, and host nation Sweden.
With almost 15 years on the show, Graham is all too familiar with how predictions can be blown out of the water on the big night for the most chaotic of reasons.
‘It’s just about the night, the performance, the staging, where you are in the running order, what other songs are in the show,’ he said before adding with a grin: ‘So, you know – come on, Ireland!’
Discussing his new show Last One Laughing, the professional funnyman revealed why he thinks Irish comedians are so successful.
‘I think Irish people, in general, just like to laugh,’ he shared. ‘If they’re telling a story, generally there need to be some laughs in it, otherwise, people aren’t going to be listening to you.’
LOL: Last One Laughing Ireland arrives on Prime Video on January 19, 2024 while Eurovision comes to BBC One in May.
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