Eurovision Phone Confusion

The BBC continued to have a tough time with phone-in technology as Eurovision song contest heat presenters Terry Wogan and Fearne Cotton simultaneously announced the result of viewer voting by naming different winners.

Wogan said viewers had chosen soloist Cyndi, while Cotton declared the winner as rock group Scooch.

Chaos reigned until Scooch were declared to be the genuine finalists.

"This is live television and unfortunately sometimes these things do happen," said a BBC spokesman, as the station still reeled from the news that a phone-in competition on the Blue Peter children’s programme had been fixed.

TV stations have come in for a lot of media flak as a result of revelations that some phone-ins conducted on premium rate lines have continued to take calls after the competition had closed and the result was known.

Scooch’s "Flying The Flag (For You)" had been described by critics as classic Eurovision fare, which was remarkable in itself in a year when former stars including The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins and East 17 idol Brian Harvey both tried resurrecting their careers by trying to win through to the finals of the 40-year-old competition.

Even Scooch had reassembled for the contest after gaining a Top 10 hit with "More Than I Need To Know," and later splitting up.

The controversy didn’t end with the botched announcement of the result.

Hawkins released a statement that said his defeat was a fix:

"The whole thing whiffed of a stitch-up, particularly when you consider that our supporters had their banners confiscated by security, whilst Scooch fans were filmed proudly waving theirs."

Eurovision 2007 takes place in Helsinki, Finland, on May 12.