Eurovision 2021: follow all the action from Rotterdam – live

I know former hosts of this live blog – waves to Heidi and Stuart – have often suggested some kind of drinking game to go with the show.

Personally, the drinking game for me is to find out whether I can still live blog and co-ordinate a snap breaking news story while drunk at the end of the night.

You don’t have to worry about that however, so if you do want to take part, I’d like to suggest these rules. A drink when you spot:

Please drink responsibly. Non-alcoholic beverages are also available. When the fun stops, stop. No, hang on, that’s gambling, isn’t it?

I absolutely love this from musician Mary Epworth just now, who has succinctly hit the nail on the head about what for me is one of the real joys of Eurovision.

You’ll notice I’m new here, by the way. Just so you know where we are coming from, I unashamedly love Eurovision, watched it as a kid, watched it with ironic post-modern detachment when I was a pretentious twentysomething, and then have grown to truly love it and introduce it to my own kids as the wonderful, glorious and absolutely ridiculous celebration of music that it is.

But I don’t take it too seriously, so if you are here for the latest betting tips and an accurate inside track on what is going to win, I’m not your man.

If, on the other hand, you are here for stupid jokes, instant social media reaction, and me occasionally getting over-enthusiastic about things and SHOUTING ABOUT THEM IN ALL CAPITALS BRIAN BLESSED STYLE then we are going to get along famously.

If you want to get in touch you can find @-me on Twitter at @MartinBelam. Or you can email me at martin.belam@theguardian.com with EUROVISION at the start of the subject line. That way I’ll find it in my inbox, which is otherwise mostly full of unread urgent pleas from my editors to actually meet my deadlines.

Bienvenue! Välkommen! Witaj! Добро пожаловать! Welcome! Do come in and settle down for our live coverage of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, which gets underway on the hour in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. 🇳🇱🇳🇱🇳🇱🇳🇱

Yes, after last year’s enjoyable Eurovision: Shine A Light show replaced the cancelled contest, we are back with a competitive tussle again. 26 songs, one winner, and several hours of biting nails as the votes seemingly come in from 1,057 different countries.

I feel a bit emotional already to be honest.

Lots of the artists who should have had their moment of Eurovision glory last year are back for another bite, including the UK’s James Newman and Iceland’s Daði og Gagnamagnið, who may well feel that they would have won with Think About Things in 2020, and that we should be in Reykjavík tonight, not Rotterdam. That’s all in the past though, and there is plenty to look forward to.