George Campey
George Campey Photo: (BBC)

Newly discovered interview with journalist who created the name Eurovision

In the week that marks the anniversary of the first Eurovision Song Contest in May, 1956, the BBC has released a short never-before-seen interview with George Campey, the man who invented the term 'Eurovision'.

The interview is part of the BBC Oral History Collection of interviews with former BBC staff, which provides an amazing insight into the long history of the British Broadcasting Corporation since 1922.

George Campey was a journalist for the London Evening Standard, and in writing an article about European television, in November 1951, he came up with the shortened form of the name 'Eurovision'.

One of his biggest journalistic scoops came in 1953. He was the first to report on the plans for a televised coronation, which transformed British television and the BBC.

 

George Campey
George Campey © (BBC)

In 1954 he joined the BBC as the television publicity officer. Originally he was discouraged by his superiors at the BBC from using the term 'Eurovision', and preferred to use the term 'Continental Television Exchange'. However, the term Eurovision did catch on, and now has become forever associated with the song contest, and the Eurovision family of events.

George Campey received the honour of an OBE in 1963, and he lived to the grand old age of 94, passing away in June 2010.

So, if it wasn't for George Campey, you could have ended up watching the Continental Television Exchange Song Contest last week!

You can find more information at www.bbc.co.uk/historyofthebbc

What name would you have created instead of Eurovision?

Comments 💬

Related stories
United Kingdom 2019 second rehearsal

UK: BBC announces new internal selection process for 2020

1 year ago
Eurovision: You Decide 2019 - Hosts Mel Giedroyc and Måns Zelmerlöw

Tonight: Who will win the United Kingdom's ticket to Tel Aviv?

1 year ago
Satellite dish at the EBU's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

EBU statement about stage invasion during UK act

2 years ago