Mark Wadsworth

This is a spare 'blog in case my main 'blog at isn't working

Tag Archives: Geography

Short Lists

It’s a very short one, I suspect there is only one item on it: “US soap operas called after a hill in south east Essex”


The end of a fine Eurovision tradition

I don’t mean that Terry Wogan doesn’t do the sarky comments any more, this is more fundamental. When I was a lad, only proper European countries entered the Eurovision song contest, but then they went a bit mad and allowed Israel to enter.

Cue much heated debate at school about whether Israel was actually a European country or not, primarily done to wind up Collins (who was Jewish). Then the same all over again when Turkey was allowed to enter, much muttering and spluttering about whether it’s a European country or not (quite clearly it isn’t – it’s not on the continent of Europe, and unlike Israel, doesn’t even have any European inhabitants).

And so on and so forth. Every time they allowed yet another even-less-European country enter, there was much righteous indignation (especially if they won).

In the smart arse corner, then there is usually somebody who points that Eurovision is merely the name of an international television distribution network, which happens to have named the song contest after itself, and this does not imply that it is restricted to European competitors only (in the same way as the British Grand Prix is not restricted to British Formula One drivers).

But it seems that nobody can be bothered to do the curmudgeonly thing and point out that Azerbaijan is not, repeat not, a European country. It has borders with Chechnia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran, FFS. So I’ll have to do it myself.
Geek points for the first person to point out that Eurovision is the name of a television distribution network and is not meant to imply that the competition is restricted to entrants from European countries etc.
UPDATE. Here’s my personal opinion of what’s Europe and what’s not. There are a few countries which I’d consider to be ‘Not really Europe’, the fact that they aren’t Arab or Asian either is not my problem. Romania just scrapes in because it uses the Latin alphabet and is predominantly Christian. Plus, it gives us access to those strategic Black Sea ports: