Over the years ESC Insight has worked with many contributors. Many of them are still active and you’ll see their work on the site, others have moved on but still look back fondly on their time with ESC Insight. Here we acknowledge some of the former members of the regular writing team.
Ben Robertson now lives in Sweden, and while Eurovision isn’t the reason he left the cold-shouldered shores of the UK for Stockholm, it did help. From being President of Durham University Eurovision Society to being the current Stockholm Co-ordinator of Melodifestivalklubben, one of his biggest passions is the inclusion of the fan community in the inner workings of the Contest.
On ESC Insight, Ben was the first editor of our regular Insight Newsletter, and he continues to write guest posts.
Despite her American upbringing, Samantha has been an avid follower of the Eurovision Song Contest for many years. Ever since she heard “Sing Little Birdie” mentioned in a Monty Python sketch and discussed Dana International during her Bat Mitzvah training as a child, she was hooked. After years of prattling on about the Contest to her somewhat-bemused family and friends, she finally started The ESC Insider in late 2009. The site fuses traditional news and reviews, with a historical and cultural perspective on the contest, making sure to bring in as much random trivia as possible (she is, after all, the only ESC Insight writer to have appeared on Jeopardy!).
This little pet project took on a life of its own, and she attended her first Eurovision as an accredited press member in 2011, where she was quickly brought into the fold at ESC Insight. After serving as part of the web team for Junior Eurovision from 2014 to 2015, she was drafted by the Bulgarian Delegation to serve as Assistant Head of Press in Kyiv. Born and raised in New Jersey, Samantha currently resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Roy Delaney is a showbiz and darts journalist operating out of Bristol in the UK. He also shouts and hits the drums for a dismal two-piece punk rock band called Hacksaw.
His blog, Eurovision Apocalypse, is devoted to the best and most bonkers stuff thrown up by the national finals every year. Go there for pain and joy.
Paul Jordan has recently completed his PhD this summer examining issues of image building and national identity in Estonia and Ukraine. His research concentrates primarily on nation branding initiatives and the role that Eurovision played in terms of promoting and refining the international image of the respective countries concerned. Paul has attended Eurovision since 2000 and has been a commentator on all things Eurovision for Russia Today, BBC Radio Scotland and will appear in the forthcoming documentary “The Secret History of the Eurovision Song Contest” produced by Australian based Electric Pictures.
One of the oldest and most experienced heads in the Eurovision world, Terry Vision returned to active service for the 2012 National Final season as ESC Insight’s Senior Interviewer…. and retired from public life in 2016.
“Maybe you remember me from the radio, when I would wake up the country every morning. Or my successful chat show, Vision, as I talked to the stars every night. When you needed an unflappable light entertainment host with a twinkle in his eye, I was there. Retirement is wonderful, I make no apologies for walking away when I did, but there comes a time in the life of every husband when your wife asks for a new car, the bank account is running dry, and you need to get back out to the world of work.”
Watch Terry in action with his video interviews on ESC Insight.
John Kennedy O’Connor has written, reported and broadcast on the subject of Eurovision for numerous media organizations including The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History in conjunction with the EBU.
Since 2007 he has been the American Correspondant for Gaydar Radio in the UK, and has covered Eurovision for Sky News, Fox News, Aljazeera, BBC World News, BBC One, ITV1 & Channel 4, as well as numerous radio outlets including the BBC World Service, Radio 1, 2 and 4 in the UK; RTE1 and Key 101 FM and Radio Ulster in Ireland; and Australlia’s ABC National Breakfast Show.
O’Connor’s written work has been featured in (amongst others) the Sunday Express, Daily Mail, Radio Times, Private Eye, Northern Woman, Metro, The News of the World and the Mail on Sunday in the UK. Stateside, he had a syndicated column originating in San Francisco, primarily published in Playlands magazine, a local guide to entertainment and has been interviewed by The Guardian, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Jose Mercury News, The Houston Chronicle and other American daily papers.