Hollywood star Will Ferrell to film Eurovision Song contest spoof movie in Edinburgh

He is the Hollywood star who warmed the hearts of the world as Buddy the Elf and revolutionised American comedy movies with his Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.

By Brian Ferguson
Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 7:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 8:16 pm
Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in Anchorman.
Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in Anchorman.

Now, Will Ferrell is to star in the latest Netflix blockbuster, a comedy set against the backdrop of the Eurovision Song Contest - and filming is set to take place next month in Edinburgh.

Former James Bond Pierce Brosnan and Rachel McAdams, star of Mean Girls and The Notebook, will appear alongside Ferrell in the movie, which is expected to spend a week shooting in the city and involve around 200 extras.

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Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf.

The actor - whose other hits include Elf, Blades of Glory and Daddy’s Here - and McAdams play a pair of aspiring Icelandic musicians “given the opportunity of a lifetime to appear at the world’s biggest song competition.”

Brosnan has been cast as the father of Ferrell’s character, with the former described as “the most handsome man in Iceland.”

Locations in the Old Town and New Town have been lined up for starring roles, along with the historic fishing village of Newhaven, on Edinburgh’s waterfront. It is understand the city will not be standing in for another location in the movie. However it is not known what role Edinburgh will play in the storyline.

News of Eurovision’s forthcoming filming in Edinburgh has emerged days after several weeks of shooting on Fast and Furious 9 wrapped up.

Eurovision in Edinburgh

Rosie Ellison, manager of the Film Edinburgh commission, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the city to be showcased to millions of both film and Eurovision fans around the world. It allows us to once again demonstrate our film-friendly credentials to the global film industry.”

Cammy Day, depute leader of Edinburgh City Council, added: “It is a source of real pride that Edinburgh attracts these kinds of projects and it’s very exciting to welcome the latest project from Netflix to the city next week. We welcome filming for the economic benefit, employment opportunities and the on-screen promotion it brings.

“Productions are exciting for film fans and we ensure that filmmakers engage with all residents and businesses within the area in which they plan to film, to make sure that life can continue with as little disruption as possible.”

When Edinburgh Hosted Eurovision For Real

Eurovision was held in Edinburgh in the '70s.

Initially intended to be hosted in Monaco following Severine’s win in Dublin in 1971, the principality was unable to provide a venue.

The BBC stepped in, and the Usher Hall was chosen to host the fourth Eurovision in the UK.

Legendary producer/director Bill Cotton was sent up from London to take charge of arrangements.

The hall itself underwent a major transformation for the live event.

The stage design included a screen to introduce and accompany the onstage competing performances, and to show an interval act and voting sequence that were done at Edinburgh Castle.

Before each country’s performance, a picture of each song’s performers along with their names and the song’s title were projected on the screen, and during each performance, animated spiral shapes were projected as additional visual effect.

The competition was won by Luxembourg’s Vicky Leandros with Apres Toi, with 128 points. It was second time lucky for Vicky, having competed in 1967. The British entry, Beg, Steal or Borrow by The New Seekers, was popular and finished second with 114 points.