Bad news, ABBA fans: Benny and Bjorn have ruled out a 2024 Eurovision reunion
Author: Asyia Iftikhar
ABBA members Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson have ruled out a return to the Eurovision stage next year in Sweden.
It seemed too good to be true when Sweden’s Eurovision act Loreen landed her historic second win at the Eurovision 2023 final in Liverpool with electrifying pop ballad “Tattoo”.
The stars aligned as the nail-biting victory confirmed that the next song contest would arrive in Sweden in 2024, exactly 50 years after Swedish supergroup ABBA – made up of Agnetha Fältskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad – clinched the 1974 Eurovision trophy with their breakout pop song “Waterloo”.
Despite fans’ hopes of an ABBA reunion at Eurovision 2024, ABBA members and songwriting duo Ulvaeus and Andersson have confirmed that they won’t reunite with the rest of the band at the next song contest.
Speaking to BBC Newsnight‘s Victoria Derbyshire on Thursday (25 May), Andersson explained there was “no way” the group, who are now all in their 70s, would be making an in-person live reunion at Eurovision 2024.
“I don’t want to,” he said. “And if I don’t want to, the others won’t. It’s the same for all four of us. Someone says no – it’s a no.”
“We can celebrate 50 years of ABBA without us being on stage,” Ulvaeus added.
The group, who have sold hundreds of millions of records, made their last public performance on 11 December 1982 to a small studio audience on UK’s The Late Late Breakfast Show hosted by Noel Edwards, where they sang “Thank You for the Music”.
However, that doesn’t mean fans haven’t been well-fed with ABBA content over the decades. Mamma Mia! – the jukebox musical based on songs by ABBA – premiered on the West End in 1999.
The musical was then adapted to the screen as the box office hit Mamma Mia! starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried in 2008, with a hugely popular 2018 sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again starring Cher and Lily James.
The supergroup then had a surprise album reunion releasing their 10-track album Voyage in November 2021, followed by the opening of their groundbreaking virtual concert residency in London, ABBA Voyage, in May 2022 where they appear as avatars.
Speaking about the success of the show, Andersson said: “We achieved more than we could ever hope for … seeing this happening after four or five years of work … and realising that the audience actually connected to what was on stage.
“Not like watching a movie, but as if we were actually there.”
Fans’ last hopes of new ABBA content rest on a potential third Mamma Mia! movie. Speaking to Deadline earlier in May, creator Judy Craymer teased the idea of a trilogy.
“It’s in its earliest stages,” she said, even adding that Streep’s character Donna who passed away in the second film could somehow make a return. “There is a story there, and I do think Meryl should come back – and if the script is right, she would, I think, because she really loved playing Donna.”
However, Andresson has insisted that there won’t be a third instalment.
“There’s not going to be a next Mamma Mia film,” he said. “That’s’ just wishful thinking.’’
Newsnight is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.
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Author: Asyia Iftikhar