ESC Insight would not be possible without our writers who contribute their thoughts to the site for us all to discuss, disect and disagree with. While Sharleen and Ewan keep the website servers up and running, it’s the writers and contributors that give us our diversity and make ESC Insight the success that it is.
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 continues to fuse 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 has taken on a life of its own, and she attended her first Eurovision as an accredited press member in 2011. She has a degree in Hispanic Studies and Linguistics from Macalester College. Born and raised in New Jersey, Samantha currently resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Read Samantha’s articles on ESC Insight, profile picture by Glimpses of Soul Photography.
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 he’s still here. In his own words:
“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.
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 is the Editor of our regular Insight Newsletter. You can explore the archive and sign up now for news, pictures, gossip, and ‘Robertson’s Reflection‘.
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.
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.
British Academy (BAFTA) nominated broadcaster and writer Ewan Spence is the voice behind The Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Podcast and one of the driving forces behind ESC Insight. Having had an online presence since 1994, he is a noted commentator around the intersection of the media, internet, technology, mobility and how it affects us all. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, his work has appeared on the BBC, The Stage, STV, and The Times
Sharleen was born, bred and still resides in Sydney Australia. For the past 12 years she has worked as a freelance journalist and PR specialist for various interests and events such as Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Pacific Circle Music Convention (Australia), the University of Western Sydney, and the Melbourne International Film Festival. Her works have been published in both the UK and Australia, both online and print including Scottish magazine The List, Melbournes’ Beat street press, and in fan club magazines for cult TV shows – Red Dwarf, Press Gang, and the Eurovision Song Contest.
Read Sharleen’s articles on ESC Insight.