North East Connected

Seeing double at Eurovision

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After a few drinks on Eurovision night, you might think you’re seeing double but it’s actually twin brothers and University of Sunderland students Callum and James Rowe, who are broadcasting live from the competition in Sweden as part of their popular podcast.

Callum and James, both 27, from Cramlington, are heading to Malmö in Sweden to cover this year’s Eurovision Song Contest as the producers of the world’s most listened to independent Eurovision podcast, The Euro Trip.

Callum is studying Journalism at the University of Sunderland, and his twin brother James graduated from Sunderland with a degree in Media Production in 2022. Both are massive Eurovision fans and wanted to take their passion for pop – and journalism – to Sweden.

Turning to the University of Sunderland’s Development Office for help, the brothers were able to apply for a Futures Fund scholarship. The Fund, which supports current University of Sunderland students and recent graduates, offers up to £2,500 for students to develop their careers and aspirations.

Now, after successfully gaining their University’s support, Callum and James will be at the world’s biggest showcase for pop music on Saturday 11 May.

“Being in Malmö means I have the chance to work closely with artists, songwriters, members of international broadcasting delegations and other industry professionals to help cement myself as a trusted member of the worlds of journalism and Eurovision,” says Callum. “When I graduate this summer having this trip to Sweden on my CV as a real-world example of working as a journalist will be a huge selling point as I take my first steps into my career.”

Alongside brother James, Callum produces weekly episodes of podcast The Euro Trip. He says: “Each episode is listened to by more than 1,000 people. During Eurovision week last year, we made daily episodes which saw our episode listenership more than double.”

“The Euro Trip is the world’s leading independent Eurovision podcast,” adds James. “The podcast was something I started doing alongside my studies, using the skills I was learning on my course and applying them to the real world.”

James now works as a freelance audio producer for BBC Sport, Radio Newcastle and Hits Radio North East, but he is still committed to working alongside his brother on their Eurovision podcast.

“The podcast is something I am hugely proud of,” says James. “I still use it as a calling card and it stands front and centre on my CV.

“Callum and I have become a trusted name within the Eurovision media space, often appearing on outlets such as BBC News as experts on the contest.”

Before working as a freelance producer, James volunteered at the University’s community radio station, Spark, and Callum is continuing that family tradition.

“I’ll be reporting live on-air for Spark about everything happening in the world of Eurovision,” he says. “The University of Sunderland has given me so much so far, so I see it as vital for me to give back and continue to support the University.

“I pour every ounce of my enthusiasm for Eurovision, journalism and storytelling into the work I do. A week in Sweden doing what I love is the next step on my journey to become a full-time journalist.”

Alistair Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Public Relations at the University of Sunderland, backed the brothers’ funding application. He says: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to help Callum and James with this opportunity. They are Eurovision experts and have developed an extraordinary specialism in Eurovision reporting.

“I’ve taught Callum for three years now and he has produced consistently excellent work, on a range of subjects, not just pop music or Eurovision. Since graduating, James has further honed his skills in the industry. They make a formidable team.”

The Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Malmö in Sweden on Saturday 11 May.

The University of Sunderland offers scholarships to applicants, undergraduates and graduates to improve their opportunities, studies and professional career aspirations. To find out more about what is available go to: sunderland.ac.uk

For more information about studying Journalism at the University of Sunderland, visit: https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/study/journalism-and-pr/undergraduate-journalism/

For Media Production: https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/study/media/undergraduate-media-production/

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