Scouse Eurovision commentary: how to watch with ‘alternative’ BBC commentary - who is presenter Paul Quinn?

It will be the first time that viewers will be able to hear commentary in the accent of the host city

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Get ready to hear Eurovision like you’ve never heard it before. This year’s Grand Final is about to get a whole lot more interesting with the introduction of an alternative commentary in the host city’s regional accent.

For the first time in 67 years, viewers will be able to experience the glitz, glam and occasional musical mishaps in a whole new way, with a special Scouse commentator selected after a search by BBC Radio Merseyside.

During the grand final on Saturday 13 May, Paul Quinn, 32, from Dingle in Liverpool will co-present alongside Brookside actress Claire Sweeney.

The BBC said it will be the first time in the competition’s 67 editions that viewers will be able to hear an alternative commentary in the regional accent of the host city. Here is everything you need to know about it.

Who is Paul Quinn?

Quinn was selected after a seven-week search by BBC Radio Merseyside (Photo: BBC/PA Wire)Quinn was selected after a seven-week search by BBC Radio Merseyside (Photo: BBC/PA Wire)
Quinn was selected after a seven-week search by BBC Radio Merseyside (Photo: BBC/PA Wire)

Quinn was selected after a seven-week search by BBC Radio Merseyside that featured nearly 500 auditions. The station toured shopping centres in Liverpool and Merseyside, asking members of the public to record a 40-second demo.

He said: “It’s brilliant and to have it here in Liverpool is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And who knows when it’s going to come back?

“To think I can look back and say it was in Liverpool and I was the voice of it for BBC Radio Merseyside. People will think back and say, ‘Remember when Paul Quinn was the voice of Eurovision? It’s brilliant.”

Singer Sonia, who represented the UK at the contest in 1993, featured on an expert panel judging the entries. The panel praised Quinn’s “sense of Scouse” in his audition and were impressed that he “talked passionately about Ukraine and his connections with the country”.

Sweeney, who played Lindsey Corkhill in long-running soap Brookside, said: “I am thrilled to be involved with Eurovision this year in Liverpool.

“I am looking forward to working alongside the new voice of Eurovision for BBC Radio Merseyside. The Scouse alternative commentary is going to be a fabulous addition to the show. It’s going be such fun. I can’t wait.”

How can I hear the alternative Scouse commentary?

Listeners can choose to tune into the Scouse alternative commentary on Saturday May 13 from 8pm via BBC Radio Merseyside, BBC Sounds and the iPlayer.

The Scouse accent is associated with Liverpool and the surrounding Merseyside area. The name “Scouse” is thought to have come from a type of stew that was popular among Liverpool’s working-class sailors in the 19th century, made from leftover meats and vegetables, which were boiled together to create a hearty and filling meal.

The sailors called it “lobscouse” or “scouse” for short, and the name eventually came to be associated with the people of Liverpool.

The accent is thought to have developed from a mixture of different dialects and languages. Liverpool has a long history as a port city, and sailors and merchants from all over the world would have passed through the city, bringing with them their own languages and accents.

In addition, Liverpool has historically been a melting pot of different cultures, with large communities of Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and English people living and working together.

While the Scouse accent is beloved by many people from Liverpool and is considered an important part of the city’s cultural identity, it has also been the subject of negative stereotypes and criticisms from some outside the region.

In 2021, a survey of 2,000 Britons conducted by the dating app happn found that Scouse is reportedly the least attractive dialect around.

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