Behind the scenes in Azerbaijan
Panorama: Eurovision's Dirty Secret BBC1, 8.30pm
YOU might have been wondering what that buzz in the air is as at the moment, that crackle of excitement and expectation. Well, the answer is clear – this weekend it's the Eurovision Song Contest, an event which knocks the Olympics, the Jubilee, and even Pippa Middleton's bottom into a cocked hat.
With days to go, Panorama goes undercover inside host country Azerbaijan to discover the truth about this secretive nation and its approach to the most watched non-sporting event (excluding London riots).
The programme discovers how in Azerbaijan the contest has been used as a tool of intimidation. Viewers have been interrogated for voting for the nation's long-term enemy, Armenia.
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A protest singer has been told to flee before Eurovision or he'll be thrown in jail. And dozens have had their homes bulldozed to make way for the Eurovision venue itself. To make matters worse, they've now got to entertain Engelbert Humperdinck, pictured.
The U.S. embassy in Baku has compared Azerbaijan's ruling family to the Mafia. The regime has held on to power through a combination of rigged elections, jailing opponents, and by irregular control of the country's vast oil wealth.
So, why host the event in Azerbaijan? Well, it is of course traditional for the winner of the previous year's contest to stage the next one. And Azerbaijan wiped the floor in 2011 with the song Running Scared - I think they were trying to tell us something.