Graham Norton pays tribute to Sir Terry Wogan as he carries on toast tradition

Graham Norton has carried on with his Eurovision tradition to celebrate Sir Terry Wogan by encouraging viewers to raise a glass at song nine.

The veteran broadcaster passed away in January 2016, and commentated the pop contest before Graham Norton.

Ever since his death Graham has asked fans to join in a toast to Sir Terry , who was known for his cutting remarks on each act, of which Graham has followed suit.

Graham repeated his tradition at this year's Eurovision, which was held in Tel Aviv, as Slovenia took to the stage.

Fans joined in as BBC One tweeted a special tribute to Sir Terry with one of his sarcastic quotes which read: "Who knows what hellish future lies ahead?

"I've seen the rehearsals."

Graham said: "Next up is song nine, and this is the moment where every year I will ask you to reach forward and grab whatever beverage is in front of you.

"Be it a mug, a goblet, a cup, a glass, or flute, raise it and toast the memory of the man who was and always will be the voice of Eurovision… the late great, Sir Terry Wogan."

Graham has explained the tradition in the past when he took over from Sir Terry commentating on the song contest.

He said: "[Then] Eight years ago when I first started presenting Eurovision he kindly and very graciously phoned me and said 'Don't ever have a drink before song nine…'"

One person on Twitter wrote: "He would be very happy that @ grahnort is carrying on the flag @ bbceurovision"

"I’d like to think he’s still giving his own brand of caustic commentary up there somewhere!," added another.

Another lamented: "Awwww miss him so much …. Sir Terry will be sitting in heaven watching the show and giving his usual quips about each act."

This year, 42 countries will be travelling to Israel to compete. 36 performed in the semi-finals hoping to qualify for the grand final tonight.

The host country and the 'Big Five' – UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – are traditionally prequalified for the grand final.

The contest is judged via a dual system of the public and juries. Juries (five music industry professionals) from each country award 12, 10 and 8-1 points to their favourite 10 acts and this is revealed towards the end of the show through their national spokeswoman in the results grid format.

Viewers from each country can also vote in the same way for their favourite 10.

The results are then combined to give an overall Eurovision viewer score.

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