ESC Insight would not be possible without our writers who contribute their thoughts to the site for us all to discuss, dissect 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.
Ellie Chalkley is an all-round music, media and culture enthusiast and citizen of the internet. As an overly analytical pop fan and general knowledge hoarder she finds the Eurovision Song Contest bubble to be her natural home.
A writer and content marketing professional with a passion for getting lost in strange cities and a strange fascination with micro states, John has been with ESC Insight since 2015 and has also had his writing featured in publications including The Guardian, Popjustice and So So Gay. Tweetable @JLucas86.
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.
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 fused traditional news and reviews, with a historical and cultural perspective on the contest, bringing 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 and Lisbon. Born and raised in New Jersey, Samantha currently resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
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.