Ulrika Jonsson says hosting Eurovision was the highlight of her career.
The TV star, 54, presented the song contest alongside the late Terry Wogan, inset with Ulrika when it was last held in the UK in 1998.
More than 200 million watched her broadcast live from the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
Ulrika told the Daily Star Sunday: “As a small child in Sweden, I used to watch the Eurovision.
“When we knew it was coming to the UK, I was very keen to get the job.
“I spoke to my agent about it and I said, ‘I’d love to host it and I’m bilingual’.
“It is the only job I have ever asked for.”
When chosen to present the contest, Ulrika could not believe her luck.
She added: “I can’t even begin to say how excited I was.
“I’d watched it for years, so to then think that I was hosting it… it was genuinely a dream come true.”
However, while hosting the contest, Ulrika caused a stir as she appeared to make a dig at the presenter reading out the scores from Holland.
When Conny Vandenbos explained she had previously been a contestant, Ulrika asked her: “A long time ago, was it?”
Fans were convinced it was a slur and reacted in shock. But Ulrika now sees the funny side.
She said: “I knew this lady had been at the Eurovision years ago – and I said it was quite a few years ago in quite a lovely way.
“People took it as me casting shade on her, which I absolutely wasn’t because I’m an absolute champion of older women.
“But you have to have these moments from Eurovision. If you don’t, something has gone wrong.”
To this day, Ulrika is still thrilled she got to be a part of the big night.
She said: “I remember it well. I bloody loved it. To work with Terry was a dream come true.
“I still can’t believe that it happened. I look back on it and I’m amazed.”
It has now been 24 years since Ulrika hosted Eurovision. In the past decade, the UK hasn’t even come close to bringing the event back, with Katrina and the Waves our last champs back in 1997.
But flying the flag for us this year is Sam Ryder, who is being tipped for success.
The TikTok singer is one of the bookies’ favourites to win the contest, which will be held in Turin, Italy, on May 14.
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