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Sunday 25 February 2018

RTE objected to controversial Linda Martin Eurovision joke

Linda Martin pictured with Ryan Dolan
Linda Martin pictured with Ryan Dolan
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

LAST night's Eurovison final in Malmo didn't see Ireland add to its record number of victories. But one of Ireland's previous seven winners was the target of a jibe by presenter Petra Mede.

During the segment, Petra explained Johnny Logan had won the Eurovision three times.

Footage was then shown of Linda Martin's winning song 'Why Me', which was written by Logan. Host Petra then suggested it was Johnny Logan in drag.

The comment sparked a huge response on twitter, with many finding it funny, but others leaping to Martin's defence.

Many felt it was in bad taste as Martin's Eurovison victory was in Malmo in 1992.

However, it is understood by the Irish Independent that RTE raised concerns with Swedish organisers SVT that the joke was too harsh, and although not requesting they scrap the segment, they asked it be toned down.

Specific objection was raised as Linda Martin was in the arena for the final last night.

However the Swedish broadcaster decided to go ahead with the controversial part of the show.

An RTE spokesperson had no comment to make when asked if the broadcaster had attempted to have the segment scraped.

Linda Martin had no comment to make to the Irish Independent in Malmo last night.

Twitter was buzzing with comments on the segment.

‘Dublin Wives’ star Virginia Macari jkoked: Fingers crossed it's not Linda Martin ringing in the Irish vote"

DJ Ray Shah tweeted: "Classic... Linda Martin, the drag queen"

While another Twitter user, named James, failed to see the funny side, saying: "I can't believe they slagged off Linda Martin, it wasn't funny!"

The hashtag #LindaMartin also began to trend on the site, due to the volume of users referencing the comment.

The final was won by Denmark, with an expected TV audience of 125m people.

Ireland finished in last place, despite a strong performance from Ryan Dolan and his team.

Yet it was still not Ireland's worst Eurovision performance in last decade.

Ireland failed to qualify for the final three times - Donna and Joe in 2005, Dustin in 2008 and Sinead Mulvey and Black Daisy in 2009.

Dervish also finished last in 2007 however they did not have to qualify from a semi final.

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