NRK announced the new presenters of next year’s Melodi Grand Prix today in quite an unexpected way that gave the audience present quite a surprise!
People who were gathered together at the NRK studios today for what they though was your average run of the mill recording of a prime time talk show named Lindmo were in for an unexpected treat today. Norwegian broadcaster NRK decided to use the show as a platform to make their choice of presenters known to the public. The audience were aware that up and coming TV personality Jenny Skavlan was part of the show, but not exactly in which capacity.
The confusion was complete when popular TV host Erik Solbakken appeared on the set – things soon became clear to those in attendance however, as the popular pair were announced as the new faces that will lead the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix selection in 2013. As expected, all dates were also confirmed by NRK, with the Norwegian season kicking off on the 19th of January with the first heat from Steinkjer. The second will be from Florø on the 26th of January, with the final heat being confirmed as the 2nd of February, but with the host town yet to be disclosed.
Young Mr. Solbakken will be a familiar face to many, as he was one of three hosts for the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo – a task he carried out with great aplomb and which undoubtedly gave him experience that will prove invaluable. He first made his breakthrough on children’s television, and has since then, remained a regular face on Norwegian TV screens and is currently to be seen on the NRK3 series Karl Johan. Jenny Skavlan on the other hand, is not so familiar with viewers outside of Norway, but back home has quite a following, with a background as diverse as acting, design and modelling.
The pair commented on their decision to agree to present one of Norway’s most popular TV shows. When asked if he was afraid of becoming pigeonholed as "Eurovision Erik" he replied : "No, but if people wish to refer to me as MGP Erik, that’s fine. In terms of height, I’m somewhere in between the two Norwegian Eurovision personas, Jostein Pedersen and Per Sundnes". When Jenny Skavlan was told of just how large an audience Eurovision draws, her stomach flipped and she had this to say: "Oh lord, is it that many? I hadn’t even given it any thought before you mentioned it. But I have become much better at putting myself under pressure and getting control of my nervousness, I’m really up for the challenge. Erik will teach me lots, seeing as he’s done this kind of thing before."
The deadline for entry submissions closed on the 1st of September. NRK are currently working their way through submitted material to narrow down the field of candidates. Watch this space for further developments.