Eurovision 2021: Rylan Clark-Neal pulls out of hosting semi-final with illness as BBC brings in another big-name host

RYLAN Clark-Neal has pulled out of hosting the Eurovision semi-finals due to illness.

The presenter will be replaced by Radio 2 star Sara Cox, who announced the swap on her show last night.

She told listeners: "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 obviously we wish him better."

Announcing she'd be taking the reigns for both tonight and Thursday's shows, she said: "So I'll be stepping into Rylan’s sparkly tux tomorrow and Thursday, 8pm, BBC Four, all the action from the Eurovision semi-finals."

It's been nearly 20 years since Sara last covered Eurovision and she's itching to reunite with her former Radio 1 colleague Scott Mills.

She continued: "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."

Anita Rani will sit in for Sara on the airwaves while the Bolton lass turns her attention to the telly.

The Eurovision final is taking place in Rotterdam on Saturday night.

Show mega-fan Rylan is yet to comment on his illness, but missing the build up shows will be a big blow.

Speaking of his disappointment at the cancellation of last year's show, he said: "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."

Ahead of the opening ceremony, BRIT Award winner James Newman waved the flag back and forth as he walked the turquoise carpet.

It was announced that James would represent the UK at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest after last year's show was cancelled.

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