Rylan is feeling unwell (Picture: Joe Maher/Getty Images)
Rylan Clark-Neal has dropped out of this week’s Eurovision Song Contest semi-final coverage due to illness.
The presenter, 32, had been set to provide the coverage for Tuesday and Thursday’s semi-finals alongside Scott Mills and Chelcee Grimes on BBC Four.
However, Sara Cox announced on air last night that she would be stepping into Rylan’s shoes.
During her Half Wower show on BBC Radio 2, the 46-year-old said: ‘I’m really excited, I’ve got a new little job this week. I will be co-hosting the Eurovision semi-finals on BBC Four tomorrow night and Thursday night. Rylan is unwell, so obvs we wish him better. So I’ll be stepping into Rylan’s sparkly tux tomorrow and Thursday, 8pm, BBC Four, all the action from the Eurovision semi-finals.
‘I’ll also be rekindling the flames of fun with my old Eurovision mucker Scott Mills, and we’ll be joined by Chelcee Grimes and many guests as well.’
The star added that Anita Rani would be standing in for her on Radio 2.
Sara previously commentated for the Eurovision semi-finals alongside Scott in 2011 and 2012, before Scissor Sisters star Ana Matronic took over in 2013.
Sara will be stepping in (Picture: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Rylan joined the team in 2018, taking over from Mel Giedroyc, and was also the UK’s spokesperson in 2019.
The Big Brother star had previously expressed his excitement for the semi-finals, saying: ‘There was a big Eurovision shaped hole in my life last year, so I am super excited to see what everyone brings to the table for 2021 – it’s the best time of the year!
‘I am looking forward to being reunited with Scott for the semi-finals and to welcome Chelcee to the team! Plus Embers is an absolute tune – I can’t wait!’
Tonight’s semi will see Lithuania, Slovenia, Russia, Sweden, Australia, North Macedonia, Ireland, Cyprus, Norway, Croatia, Belgium, Israel, Romania, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Malta compete for 10 places in this Saturday’s grand final.
The second semi-final – which the United Kingdom can vote in – features San Marino, Estonia, Czech Republic, Greece, Austria, Poland, Moldova, Iceland, Serbia, Georgia, Albania, Portugal, Bulgaria, Finland, Latvia, Switzerland and Denmark.
Those who make it through the semis will join the Big Five – the UK, Spain, Germany, France and Italy – plus reigning champs The Netherlands in Saturday’s final, when the winner of Eurovision 2021 will be announced.
As always, Graham Norton will be commentating on BBC One, with Amanda Holden acting as the UK’s spokesperson to deliver the nation’s professional jury vote live from London.
Ken Bruce will also be continuing his Eurovision coverage on BBC Radio 2, hosting live from Wogan House in London.
James Newman will represent the UK this year with his song Embers.
The Eurovision semi-finals begin at 8pm on BBC Four.Credit: Original article published here.