Meet the Newcastle teenager who chose her degree because of the Eurovision Song Contest

Her family will be featured on the BBC on Monday.

A Newcastle family are set to appear on a BBC programme all about Eurovision.

The Ward Family from Gosforth consists of three generations of Eurovision fanatics- it’s perhaps the biggest event of the year for them.

And none more so than for 17-year-old Katie.

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“My main interests are music and geography and so it’s a good combination of learning about different cultures and societies,” she says.

“It’s interesting seeing outside of an anglicised world what music genres exists. It’s such a uniting thing that the whole of Europe can take about and I think it’s quite rare for something to cross borders like that.”

It’s not just an interest for Katie, however, but the song contest has had major a influence on her life and future.

Katie and her mum at Melodifestivalen. Katie and her mum at Melodifestivalen.
Katie and her mum at Melodifestivalen. | BBC

In September, she hopes to go to university to study Scandinavian Studies.

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She and her mum even flew to Malmo this year for Melodifestivalen, the national finals that allow Sweden to decide who they’ll be sending to the continental competition.

They’ve managed to bag tickets to two of the semi-finals in Liverpool as well before coming back to Newcastle to watch the grand final with her grandparents, and the start of her A-Levels.

Katie’s grandparents watching the competition last year.Katie’s grandparents watching the competition last year.
Katie’s grandparents watching the competition last year. | BBC

Katie feels fine about two major life events clashing, however: “I’ve already been revising quite a bit so I’m on top of it.

“I’m going to enjoy it and try not to think about the impending exams,” she laughs.

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For the final, the Ward’s always go all out. Curating food and drinks from all around Europe: “Because we’re hosting on behalf of Ukraine, my Mum’s going to do one Ukrainian dish and one Liverpudlian.”

But what does she think of the UK’s chances this year?

Katie with last year’s UK entry Sam RyderKatie with last year’s UK entry Sam Ryder
Katie with last year’s UK entry Sam Ryder | BBc

“I think Top 15 is doable, it’s a good song and staging but we’ll have to see.

“It’s become a lot more cool and mainstream, in the UK specifically after Sam Ryder last year. It’s a lot more in the zeitgeist again and in front of people’s cultural imagination.”

You can watch Katies and her family on Eurovision Calling: Jason and Chelcee’s Ultimate Guide on BBC One on Monday 8th May at 9pm.

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