Christer Björkman, the man behind the Melodifestivalen in Sweden, will act as Contest Producer for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon.
Christer confirmed the news to the Melodifestivalen fan club. The job will mean, amongst other things, being responsible for the running order for the live shows in Lisbon.
Speaking to club president Alexander Borodin, Christer also explained that he feels that it is important the show producer is from Portugal and can create a program and content with a genuine local flavour, including through the postcards presented in between songs.
Christer Björkman has been the producer of Melodifestivalen, the popular show which is used to select the Swedish entry for Eurovision, since 2002. He has also been an influential figure on the Eurovision Song Contest, acting as show producer for Eurovision 2013 in Malmo and contest producer for Stockholm 2016. He was also formerly a member of the EBU’s Reference Group for the contest. He is due to step down from his role in Melodifestivalen in 2021.
Christer is also notable for finishing in 22nd place in the Eurovision Song Contest 1992 with his song “I morgon är en annan dag” (“Tomorrow is another day”). The contest was also held in Malmo that year.
In 2017, Christer was appointed as contest producer for Eurovision in Kyiv and was later appointed show producer after 21 members of the original organising team for the contest quit.
SVT’s Melodifestivalen expert Gustav Dahlander revealed the news of Christer’s involvement in Eurovision 2018 on his blog. He notes that, compared to Kyiv 2017, Portugal’s organisation of the Eurovision Song Contest appears to be more stable so far.
Eurovision 2018 will take place on 8,10 and 12 May 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. It will be fronted by 4 female hosts and will have 43 competing countries. Host broadcaster, RTP, are aiming for “the most economical, but also the most creative edition ever.”