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Eurovision 2020 cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

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Lesley Roy

Lesley Roy

Lesley Roy

The Eurovision Song Contest 2020 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The first semi-final, in which Ireland was due to perform, had been scheduled for May 12 with the final on May 16.

However, in light of the spread of Covid-19 and recommendations on social distancing from governments across Europe, the event has been cancelled.

A statement from organisers reads, "It is with deep regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam.

"Over the past few weeks, we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead.

"However, the uncertainty created by the spread of Covid-19 throughout Europe – and the restrictions put in place by the governments of the participating broadcasters and the Dutch authorities - means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision to not continue with the live event as planned.

"The health of artists, staff, fans and visitors, as well as the situation in the Netherlands, Europe and the world, is at the heart of this decision."

They added that they are "extremely saddened" that it cannot take place in May.

Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor, said that they will see if it is possible to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam next year.

Lesley Roy was last week announced as Ireland's entry this year.

The Balbriggan woman (33) and her song Story Of My Life beat stiff competition to be selected for the annual competition in Rotterdam in May.

It is not yet known whether Lesley will go on to represent Ireland next year.

RTE's Michael Kealy, Ireland's Head of Delegation for Eurovision 2020, said the cancellation was "disappointing but completely understandable in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic."

"RTÉ had been working closely with our writer/performer Lesley Roy and creative directors THISISPOPBABY and we were all very excited about how this years’ entry was shaping up," he added.

"We’re disappointed for Lesley and the whole creative team behind Story of My Life which we felt was an offering with huge potential representing Ireland.

"RTÉ looks forward to continuing to engage with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and our broadcasting colleagues throughout Europe on Eurovision and the competition in 2021."

Last year's contest, which was won by the Netherlands' Duncan Laurence, was watched by 180 million people.

Online Editors