New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. The Staggers
10 May 2023

Richard Sharp’s Eurovision appearance

Rather than keep a low profile, the outgoing BBC chairman is expected to head to Liverpool for the Eurovision semi-final.

By The Chatterer

You might expect Richard Sharp, the soon-to-be-former chairman of the BBC, to be keeping a low profile. Not a bit of it. 

On Wednesday Sharp was spotted at a journalism conference in London, held to honour the legacy of the late great Sir Harry Evans. (Other attendees included Emily Maitlis, Andrew Marr, the New Statesman‘s political editor, Katharine Viner, editor of the Guardian, the BBC’s Amol Rajan, and Rachel Johnson.) 

Next, the Chatterer hears Sharp will be heading up to Liverpool on Thursday night for the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest. Not all at the BBC will be pleased to see their outgoing chairman demonstrating his support for Eurovision. There had apparently been a bun fight for places (this is, after all, the first time the UK has hosted the tournament since 1998). And, according to one source, Sharp and his plus-one were late RSVPers, meaning others hoping for a space in the BBC’s coveted box will have to miss out.

[See also: Why Eurovision is beloved by the LGBTQ community]

Sharp, it seems, is refusing to go out with a whimper. In late April he resigned from the BBC after an investigation found he had failed to declare his connection to an £800,000 loan guarantee made to Boris Johnson, the former PM, who was involved in his appointment.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Sharp has always maintained that his role was limited to introducing Sam Blyth, Johnson’s distant cousin who later provided the loan guarantee, to Simon Case, the cabinet secretary, to ensure that “due process” was followed. Announcing his resignation, Sharp said he had not played “any part whatsoever in the facilitation, arrangement, or financing of a loan for the former prime minister”. He said he was stepping down to “prioritise the interests of the BBC”.

[See also: Is the BBC afraid of satire?]

Content from our partners
"Heat or eat": how to help millions in fuel poverty
We need an urgent review of UK pensions
The future of private credit

Topics in this article : , ,