Fri, 18 May 2018
A NEWBURY couple were yards away from the drama as a stage invader interrupted the UK’s performance at the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night.
Greenham parish councillor Paul Walter and his wife Janet watched as the intruder broke through security and approached singer SuRie during her performance of her own song Storm at the event in Lisbon.
A man with a rucksack ran on to the stage, grabbed her microphone, and appeared to say: “Nazis of the UK media, we demand freedom.”
He was swiftly dragged off the stage and SuRie continued performing the song at the Altice Arena.
Mr and Mrs Walter had premium Golden Circle tickets, which meant they bagged a standing position right next to the stage, with early admittance and a back stage tour beforehand. The Golden Circle is the area in front of the stage where ‘superfans’ stand for five hours to immerse themselves in the song contest.
Mr Walter said that security was incredibly tight at the arena and the whole show was choreographed with “military precision”. He and his wife were even instructed to remove wooden sticks from their flags before they could enter.
Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News after the event, Mr Walter said: “At first we thought this was part of the act. Then we realised it was an invasion – which was very surprising.
“SuRie received very warm support from the audience, who appreciated her courage. But when the cameras were switched off at the end of the song, she put her hand up to her eyes and it was obvious that the poor lady was very shaken by the incident.”
Mr Walter said that after the incident, there was a noticeable increase in security.
Singer Netta, representing Israel, won the contest for her quirky dance song Toy – complete with its trademark chicken dance – inspired by the #MeToo movement.
While SuRie finished 24th out of the 26 countries, Mr Walter hailed the singer for carrying on. He said: “What a true Brit.
“She showed real calm and grit. We can be enormously proud of her.”