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Belgium warmly welcomed Dima Bilan

02 June 2008 at 18:33 CEST

The delegation left London at around 8:00 in the morning, to arrive at the small airport of Kortrijk about an hour later. Initially, the Winner's Tour was set to arrive in Belgium through the airport of Oostende, but the runway was closed for maintenance.

At Kortrijk, fans and media were waiting for Dima, who was welcomed by Flemish broadcaster VRT. The delegation was offered two limousines to make the early trip as comfortable as possible. 

At 14:00, over 60 Belgian journalists gathered at the Thermae Palace Hotel in Oostende for an intimate performance of Dima Bilan and violin player Edvin Morton. After performing the winning song of this year's Eurovision Song Contest, Believe, the singer, his violin player and Dima's manager took their seats behind the press conference desk, to answer questions from a wide variety of local media. Lead singer Soetkin of Ishtar, who represented Belgium at this year's Eurovision Song Contest with O Julissi, came by to personally congratulate the Russian winner, and brought a big basket of Belgian delights for him. Dima surprised the media when he started to mumble the Belgian Eurovision Song Contest entry, as Ishtar approached the stage to offer him the gift basket. 

In the evening, VRT's first channel recorded the first episode of Zomer 2008, featuring Dima Bilan and Edvin Morton as special guests. The show, hosted by Marcel Vanthilt and Ben Crabbé, will be aired tonight at 22:15 on Één.