Conchita Wurst turned Eurovision into 'a freak show', says Terry Wogan

The former presenter of the annual international singing competition made some surprising remarks about the bearded trans-sexual performer

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The Independent Online

Turns out, Sir Terry Wogan wasn’t as impressed by Conchita Wurst’s landmark Eurovision Song Contest win this year as the rest of us were.

The former presenter of the annual singing competition said that the bearded drag performer, whose real name is real name Tom Neuwirth, turned the spectacle into a “freak show”.

Wogan made the comments in The Irish Times as he reviewed Graham Norton’s new autobiography.

Musing on handing the presenting baton over to the “inspired, logical choice” for his replacement, he writes: “Norton says my only advice to him was not to start drinking before song seven.

“He made it his own from year one - although I'm bound to say that the Bearded Lady who won this year, reducing Graham to tears, might have had a slightly different effect on me.

Terry Wogan presented the Eurovision Song Contest from 1971 to 1998

“I've always seen the Eurovision as a sometimes foolish farce, but not as a freak show.”

Wurst won Eurovision 2014 representing Austria with the song “Rise Like a Phoenix” in May, despite facing a huge transphobic backlash from some European nations.

Conservative protests sprang up in Russia, Armenia and Belarus, calling for Wurst to be banned and threatening to withdraw from the competition.

Reuters reported that a 2013 Russian petition signed by more than 15,000 people requested the state broadcaster to remove Eurovision from its TV schedule.

“Austria will be represented in Eurovision 2014 by the transvestite contestant Conchita Wurst, who leads the lifestyle inapplicable for Russians [sic],” the All-Russian Parent Meeting petition read.

“The popular international competition that our children will be watching has become a hotbed of sodomy at the initiation of the European liberals.


“Russia is one of the only European countries that has managed to maintain normal and healthy family values based on love and mutual support between men and women.”

But it was Wurst who had the last laugh at the competition in Copenhagen.

Not only did she walk away with the grand prize, but also became a symbol for greater tolerance of all appearances and sexualities.

“This is for all those who believe in the future of peace and freedom – you know who you are. We are unity and we are unstoppable,” she said during her acceptance speech.

Wogan’s comments follow her performance at the European Union last week.