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The surprise connection between Eurovision and Love Actually

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Kayleigh Dray
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Love Actually may be a Christmas film, but it has a surprising connection to the Eurovision Song Contest

Love Actually first hit our screens way back in 2003, bringing with it a plethora of important love lessons (never trust someone who buys you a Joni Mitchell CD – fact), iconic quotes, questionable romantic gestures and incredible music. No wonder we’re all so obsessed with finding out which Love Actually character we’re most like, eh?

Best of all, though, is the fact that Richard Curtis’ unashamedly mushy film gave us plenty of lovable characters. Every single Christmas, we’ve cried with Emma Thompson’s Karen, rushed through the airport with Thomas Brodie-Sangster’s Sam, served up chocolate biscuits with Martine McCutcheon’s Natalie, nursed an office crush with Laura Linney’s Sarah, raised eyebrows everywhere with Bill Nighy’s Billy Mack, and tackled grief head-on with Liam Neeson’s Daniel.

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Then, of course, there’s the fascinating “love in any language” relationship between Colin Firth’s Jamie and Lúcia Moniz’s Aurelia.

Here’s a brief reminder of their big moment. Just in cases.

Of course, we know that the characters are up to nowadays, thanks to 2017’s Red Nose Day Actually film: the pair are still together, absolutely loved up, and Jamie has learned to speak Portuguese. They have three kids – with the added bombshell that Aurelia is pregnant again.

The years before their chance meeting at his French writer’s retreat, though, have always remained something of a mystery. Except for fans of the Eurovision Song Contest, that is.

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Some seven years before the original Love Actually movie hit the big screen, Moniz represented Portugal at the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Oslo.

And, while O Meu Coração Não Tem Cor, or My Heart Has No Colour, didn’t win the coveted trophy for Portugal (Ireland were victorious that year), the oh-so-catchy love song place Moniz in a very respectable sixth place.

You can check out her performance below.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 Grand Final takes place on Saturday 18 May. You’ll be able to watch the show live on BBC1 from 8pm with Graham Norton on the night, or you can tune in on BBC Radio 2 with Ken Bruce from 8pm.

This is the running order for Saturday’s Grand Final:

1. Malta

2. Albania

3. Czech Republic

4. Germany

5. Russia

6. Denmark

7. San Marino

8. North Macedonia

9. Sweden

10. Slovenia

11. Cyprus

12. Netherlands

13. Greece

14. Israel

15. Norway

16. United Kingdom

17. Iceland

18. Estonia

19. Belarus

20. Azerbaijan

21. France

22. Italy

23. Serbia

24. Switzerland

25. Australia

26. Spain

Addressing the running order, the Eurovision board has said that it was “decided to ensure each act has the opportunity to stand out amongst the crowd. To come to a decision, the producers look at the genre of music, whether a song is performed by a solo singer or group, the use of props, the tempo of the song and various other aspects of each act”.

Of course, the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 has already sparked some controversy, with many calling for the show to be moved from Israel, citing an incident in May where the Israeli army killed 62 Palestinian protesters and injured hundreds more in Gaza.

However, the show is still going ahead in Tel Aviv, with Madonna confirmed to perform two songs (Like a Prayer and Future) as the votes are counted.

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For those thinking of placing a bet, it’s a close call between the Netherlands, Sweden and Australia to win Eurovision 2019.

Netherlands and Sweden will take to the stage for the first time tonight in the second semi-final, with the Netherlands at odds of 1/1 to win Eurovision 2019 at Bet365, Ladbrokes and William Hill.*

Duncan Laurence is representing The Netherlands with his song Arcade.

Alex Apati of Ladbrokes told the Express: “It looks like the Netherlands may have got this wrapped up before any act has even taken to the stage in Israel.”

Image: Rex Features

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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