Legendary German Eurovision commentator Peter Urban has announced that he will step down from his job as German commentator. Urban will commentate Eurovision one last time in 2023, which will be his 25th contest.
“It was an honour and great pleasure”
Peter Urban first started commentating in 1997 and has done the job for every Eurovision since, except for 2009 due to illness. The veteran of German television retired from the NDR back in 2013, but had decided to stay on as commentator nevertheless. Speaking about his decision, Urban said:
Since 1997 I have experienced how much Eurovision has gained in importance, topicality, diversity, and quality. I have tried to convey the change of the tradition Grand Prix to the world’s top event of the international music scene to German viewers, sometimes informatively and factual, other times emotionally and with quieter or louder irony. I hope that, even in the years with weaker German results, my comments have kept up the interest in this fascinating and unique event that is unparalleled in the world. I want to hank everyone for their trust and years of loyalty, it was an honour and a great pleasure!”Peter Urban
A special farewell broadcast
NDR has already announced that they will run a special broadcast in Peter Urban’s honour. On May 12th at 20:15, before the Eurovision Final, the 90-minute portrait and retrospective “Lena, Stefan Raab und Co. – Peter Urbans 25 legendäre ESC Jahre” (Lena, Stefan Raab, and Co. – Peter Urban’s 25 legendary Eurovision years) will air. In the program, Urban will talk about his favourite Eurovision moments past and present. As NDR Director of Programming Frank Beckmann says: “He knows the Contest like pretty much no one else. […] His accompaniment over an entire generation has shaped Eurovision. We will miss him!”
About Peter Urban
Peter Urban was born in 1948 in the German town of Bramsche. He started working for the NDR in 1974 when he was still at university. Studying at Hamburg University, he graduated in English and History with a dissertation about the lyrics of Anglo-American popular music. During his time at NDR, he took on a number of roles including a hosting or presenting a number of shows, some of which he continued with after his retirement in 2013. For many Germans and Eurovision fans, however, Urban is mostly known as the German voice of Eurovision. Since then, he only missed one year, 2009. Urban has shared commentating duties on two occassions: in 2011 the first semi-final saw him share the mic with Steven Gätjen, and in 2020 Germany’s fourth-place finisher Michael Schulte joined Urban for the “Europe Shine a Light” replacement broadcast. During Urban’s tenure, Germany has had considerable ups and downs, including 9 top 10s (one win) but also 4 last places and other disappointing results. While it has been claimed that Urban is the currently longest serving commentator, that is not true: said honour goes to Switzerland’s French-language commentator Jean-Marc Richard, active since 1991. It is not yet known who will replace Peter Urban.
Germany’s Eurovision Journey
Germany has been part of Eurovision since the beginning, debuting in 1956. Their debut entries were Walter Andreas Schwarz’s “Im Wartesaal zum großen Glück” and Freddy Quinn’s “So geht das jede Nacht”. Germany has appeared at every Eurovision since except for 1996, which means they have been at more contests than any other country. They have a long history of success in Eurovision, finishing in the top 3 an impressive 13 times. Germany has won the contest twice. Nicole won in 1982 with her song “Ein bißchen Frieden”, taking home 161 points in the process. Their second win came in 2010, when Lena scored 246 points with her song “Satellite”. Germany’s most recent Eurovision entry was Malik Harris’ “Rockstars”. As Germany is part of the Big 5, they automatically qualified for the Grand Final. In the Final, the song received 6 points and finished 25th in the Final.
What is your favourite Peter Urban commentating moment? Will you be tuning in to NDR for his final Eurovision? Let us know in the comments or on social media. Be sure to follow ‘That Eurovision Site’ on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik-Tok as we prepare for Eurovision 2023!
News Source: eurovision.de
Photo Credit: Rolf Klatt / NDR
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