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BBC Loses Millions of Eurovision Viewers Amid Worldwide Boycott

The BBC's coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 final on Saturday night lost almost two million viewers compared to last year's contest amid a planned boycott.

Millions snubbed the competition's final on Saturday night, amid a planned boycott, with the BBC losing almost two million viewers compared to viewing figures for last year's contest.

The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, a nonviolent Palestinian-led initiative promoting boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel, urged Eurovision fans, hosts, performers and workers to boycott this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

The boycott was called following the Eurovision Broadcasting Union's decision to allow Israel, a country in the Middle East, to compete amid it's ongoing war on the people of Palestine. Many Eurovision fans felt this was a hypnotical stance from the EBU, given Russia was kicked out of the competition in 2022 over its invasion of Russia.

It appears as though the planned boycott had an impact, with viewing figures down considerably compared to recent years. Taking to Twitter (X) on Sunday, TV commentator and podcast host Scott Bryan wrote: "Eurovision was watched by 7.6 million last night, down from 9.9 million - a 23% fall. Doctor Who had 2.6 million and 2.4 million for its two opening episodes - but they debuted on iPlayer." He added: "Eurovision BBC Ratings (average viewers) 2024: 7.6 million 2023: 9.9 million 2022: 8.9 million 2021: 7.4 million."

Just hours before the Eurovision final, Olly Alexander was dealt a crushing blow as fans urge him to 'do the right thing'. The singer's fans pleaded with him to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest just hours before he represented the UK on stage in Sweden. Olly was told it wasn't too late "to do the right thing and boycott Eurovision" amid the protests outside the Malmo Arena in Sweden over Israel's involvement in the competition.

Olly's Eurovision journey was clouded by controversy due to Israel's participation in the contest amidst ongoing military actions by Benjamin Netanyahu against Palestine. The UK's hopeful, who had previously signed a letter denouncing Israel as an "apartheid regime" prior to his December reveal as the UK's contestant, faced backlash from fans and activists for not withdrawing from this year's event.

Olly addressed the calls for him to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest in a BBC documentary. The It's A Sin actor was overcome with emotion as he discussed the controversy and backlash. Just hours ahead of the final, Queers For Palestine issued one final plea to Olly and asked him to pull out at the last minute in solidarity with the people of Palestine.o Israel's pinkwashing of genocide with the Voices 4 London letter you signed. You still have the power to make a difference we are all looking to you."

The plea wrapped up saying: "Olly, as a beloved queer icon you have substantial influence. As drag queen said on BBC Newsnight yesterday to all of us, 'This is something you can do. Boycott.' We will be boycotting Eurovision until Israel is banned. You can still join us. You will be rich in our love and admiration, and in your heart for having done the right thing."

Previously showing solidarity with Palestinians, Olly called for an end to the conflict between Israel and Hamas last October. He supported a letter from LGBT group Voices4London that branded Israel as an 'apartheid regime' and accused it of trying to "ethnically cleanse" Palestinian territories.

Despite the growing calls for him to join the BDS movement's boycott due to Israel's involvement in Eurovision, Olly described the issue as "an incredibly complicated political situation, one that I'm not qualified to speak on." In the revealing BBC documentary Olly Alexander's Road To Eurovision '24, he addressed the backlash and explained why he chose to sidestep the boycott demands.

The star of 'It's A Sin' expressed his distress during the documentary, saying: "A lot of the contestants and myself have been having a lot of comments that are like 'You are complicit in a genocide by taking part in Eurovision' which is quite extreme. It's very extreme," visibly affected by the comments. "I understand where that sentiment is coming from but I think it's not correct.He continued: ".

He went on to say: "It's an incredibly complicated political situation, one that I'm not qualified to speak on. The backdrop to this is actual immense suffering. It's a humanitarian crisis, a war. It just so happens there's a song contest going on at the same time that I'm a part of."

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