Nul Points by Tim Moore - review by Virginia Ironside

Virginia Ironside

From Zeroes to Heroes

Nul Points


Jonathan Cape 378pp £12

It must have sounded such a good idea for a book – tracking down all the total losers in the Eurovision Song Contest from the very year of its inception, fifty years ago, and interviewing the lot of them. Huge gay market. Potential European-wide sales. After all, the Contest is a show that attracts a television audience of 450 million viewers, and those who aren’t watching for the sheer simple fun of it are watching to piss themselves laughing at the whole loopy, cheesy idiocy of it all. Even Terry Wogan’s commentary is, for quite a lot of the time, strictly tongue-in-cheek. I can imagine them rubbing their hands at Jonathan Cape. 

And so was I rubbing my hands when I started Tim Moore’s biography cum travel book, in which he seeks out thirteen losers who share the dubious distinction of having scored ‘nul points’.

‘Nul points’ – it’s a phrase that spells such consistent catastrophe that it has even entered the language

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