Eurovision’s executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand to step down after 10 years

30 September 2019, 15:43 | Updated: 1 October 2019, 15:16

Jon Ola Sand
Jon Ola Sand. Picture: Getty

By Rory O'Connor

The Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor since 201, Jon Ola Sand, has announced that the 2020 contest will be his last in the role.

Following the 65th Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam, Jon Ola will return to his native Norway to begin a new role at the head office of public broadcaster NRK.

Jon Ola said: "The past decade at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has been fantastic and exciting, but it will also be good to come home.

"I have been involved with the Eurovision Song Contest for over 20 years.

"First as Head of Delegation for Norway, then as Executive Producer in Oslo in 2010 and I have been privileged to have been the captain of the ship in Geneva for the past nine years.

"Rotterdam will be my 10th Contest as Executive Supervisor and it seems a good time to pass on the baton and take on a new challenge at NRK.

"In my new role I will work to ensure that NRK continues to be a world-class public broadcaster and will be in the best possible shape for the future."

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As work continues on the 65th contest, the EBU will now conduct a selective search for Jon Ola’s successor.

Eurovision fans will recognise Jon Ola as the man who the hosts go to to check if the voting is ready to be announced, saying the iconic "Take it away!" line.

Jon Ola will also leave the Head of Live Events post which oversees the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Eurovision Young Musicians and Eurovision Choir competitions.

Jean Philip De Tender, Director of Media at the EBU, said: "Jon Ola’s commitment and calm steady hand over the last decade has been invaluable to the EBU and its members.

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"He has overseen the growth and development of the Eurovision Song Contest over the past decade and created, together with EBU members, the most advanced entertainment show in the world helping to safeguard the longevity of this much-loved show that unites audiences from across the globe.

"Jon Ola will now oversee his 10th Eurovision Song Contest for the EBU in Rotterdam before taking up his new role at NRK."

Eurovision 2020 will take place on May 16 in Rotterdam.