Eurovision 2014: Host Pilou Asbaek admits he was not allowed to wear rainbow colours because it was ‘too political’

The Borgen star made this admission ahead of last night's competition, which saw Conchita Wurst crowned the winner

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The Independent Culture

One of the hosts of this year’s Eurovision song contest has said that he was not allowed to wear rainbow colours in protest of anti-gay laws across Europe.

Pilou Asbaek, who is best known as the tormented spin doctor Kasper Juul on Danish political drama Borgen, admitted that he was banned from donning the colours because Eurovision organisers said it would be tool political.

Speaking to The Guardian earlier this week, Mr Asbaek said "I asked them if I can wear rainbows. No. We're not allowed to be political. It's about music, not politics.”

He went onto say: “But music and politics, you cannot divide them. Not in my mind.”  

Mr Asbaek co-hosted the final of the competition last night alongside Lise Ronne and Nikolaj Koppel.

Although Mr Asbaek was not able to wear his rainbow-coloured motif, the winner of this year’s competition is likely to have left him smiling.

Austria’s drag act Conchita Wurst took home the top prize with her James Bond-esque song ‘Rise Like A Phoenix’.

The singer, real name Tom Neuwirth, has faced much transphobic since rising to prominence during the competition.

 

She was denounced as a “pervert” by Russian politicians Vitaly Milonov, while Vladimir Zhirinovsky said that last night’s victory was “the end of Europe”.

However, Ms Wurst took on her detractors head on, saying “I can only say ‘Thank you for your attention!’”

“If this is only about me and my person, I can live with it. I'm just a singer in a fabulous dress, with great hair and a beard,” she added in an interview with the Associated Press.

Interestingly, Israel gave 12 points to Austria, the nation is home to Dana International, the transsexual act who won the Eurovision song contest back in 1998.

Ms Wurst was declared the winner of the competition even before the all votes had been collected, scoring a total of 290.

Members of the audience in the B&W Halls in Copenhagen, Denmark were seen waving rainbow flags during the evening. Meanwhile the Icelandic entry Pollapoenk sang a song called 'No Prejudice', which called for equality for all.

Read more: Voting controversy after UK public voted Donatan & Cleo first
The most memorable moments of Eurovision 2014
Twitter in praise of transvestite Conchita Wurst’s performance for Austria
Tom Neuwirst before Conchita Wurst and Eurovision

Gay rights in Europe have fallen under the spotlight recently, particularly after Russia passed anti-gay laws that persecutes the LGBT community.

The Eurovision result can be seen as a triumph for the LGBT community across Europe, with many nations awarding the act 12 points.

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