CULTURE

Anna Vissi, Sakis Rouvas and Maria Menounos at the forefront of the 51st Eurovision song contest

A co-presenter has been found for Sakis Rouvas. Maria Menounos, 27, is an import but she is Greek. Beautiful and multilingual – she speaks French, Italian, Spanish, English and Greek – Menounos joined NBC’s popular program «The Today Show» in 2003. She and Rouvas will co-present the semifinal and final of the Eurovision song contest on May 18 and 20 in Athens. Menounos, who at 18 was Miss Massachusetts, will arrive here in mid-March. She studied journalism at Emerson and made her start in television with serious subjects. Recently she interviewed US President George W. Bush. Her invitation to the first Eurovision contest to be held in Athens has made her parents, who left their village in Arcadia in the difficult 1970s for Massachusetts, «very proud.» Her return to Greece for the song contest has made them «happier than if I’d won 17 Oscars,» she said. Quick-witted and eloquent, Menounos has a contagious laugh. She admitted to singer Rouvas that she didn’t know him when they met in Hollywood, but she will see how popular he is when she sees him on his home turf. As the invitation from Greek Radio and Television (ERT)’s PR officer Litsa Psikera says, «the countdown for the 51st Eurovision song contest is beginning.» ERT is throwing a big party for the selection of the song that will represent Greece, with Anna Vissi to perform it. Artists from abroad are expected on Tuesday March 14 at 9 p.m., in Votanikos, at 72 Iera Odos and Spyrou Patsi Street. Tickets for the final are sold out and journalists have bought their own. We hope that ministers and other officials did likewise. It’s about time ERT introduced equal treatment.