If, like, us you don’t really understand politics, economics and all that boring nonsense, it’s hard to get your head round such high concepts as EU bailouts, debt deficits and the credit crunch. On Sunday though, a piece of news broke that finally made us understand just how devastating the economic crisis can be: Portugal are in such financial dire straits, they’ve pulled out of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Yes, Portuguese pop lovers will have to find something else to watch next year while the rest of Europe bonds through the magic of song. Just one week after Poland announced it was pulling out of the contest for financial reasons, Portugal have followed suit. Both countries admit they just can’t afford to join in next year’s event in Malmo, Sweden. Well, sequins aren’t cheap, you know.

But it’s not just Portuguese TV viewers that’ll miss out during next year’s Song Contest. The United Kingdom look set to suffer too. That’s because according to Wikipedia, Portugal has given more points to the UK over the years than any other country. So, next year we’ll be “douze points” down. And seeing as we finished in 25th place this year with, um, twelve points, that’s pretty worrying.

Or maybe, just maybe, Portugal and Poland’s absence next year will be good news for the UK. After all, the more countries that drop out means there’s less competition for us to wipe the sequin-littered floor with.

News just in: fearful that Portugal and Poland are victims of a crippling economic virus unique to countries beginning with ‘P’, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru and Papua New Guinea have made an unusual pre-emptive strike this afternoon and also pulled out of next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. And they’re not even based in Europe.

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