Helen Riddell, the Head of Delegation for the United Kingdom, has left the BBC in order to pursue her career as a freelance producer.
Helen Ridell was part of the British delegation for five years. Over her time with the delegation, she worked as Senior Producer for the Eurovision Song Contest and Head of Delegation. Her departure follows Guy Freeman’s departure (former Head of Delegation for the United Kingdom), who also left the BBC earlier this year in order to pursue a new venture.
As Head of Delegation, Helen was in charge the creative process of the UK’s Eurovision entry including the song selection, music video, publicity and staging of performance. She also played a key role in forging relations between the BBC, the EBU and the numerous European broadcasters and oversaw the broadcast of the semi-finals from the commentary box.
Helen was the the senior producer for the British Eurovision selection: Eurovision: You Decide from 2016 to 2018. She played a key role in booking Mel Giedroyc, Mans Zelmerlow, Rylan, Tom Fletcher and Rochelle Hulmes to be part of the show.
The BBC is expected to appoint a new Head of Delegation for the United Kingdom in due course. Meanwhile, applications for Eurovision: You Decide 2019 close on Friday.
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
The United Kingdom debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957 and holds the record for the most consecutive appearances in the contest. To date the UK has won the contest a total of five times, with their first victory coming in 1967 and their latest in 1997. The UK holds the record for the most second place finishes in the contest, having been runner-up a total of 15 times. Since 2000 the UK has finished within the top 10 only twice, this being in 2002 with Jessica Garlick and in 2009 with Jade Ewen.