The biggest night in entertainment is upon us, folks. It's not the Oscars, it's not the MTV Awards, and it's certainly not the St. Stephen's Primary School's End of Year Talent Show. It is the Eurovision Song Contest, and it is glorious.
But the event cannot pass unmarked, and you cannot mark the passing of an event without a big, fuck off party. So that's what you're gonna do. Round up your mates, whack the telly on, and settle in for a grea- WAIT
First, there are things you must acquire.
1 ABBA Gold to get everyone in the mood
Get warmed up with the greatest Eurovision act (and arguably the greatest pop group) of all time. Start off with winning track of 1974 Waterloo, then enjoy hit after hit after hit after hit. If Eurovision gets too dull (hah! AS IF) then you can just have an ABBA party instead.
2 Eurovision-themed cup cakes
Cute, but not too complicated. Even if you get a tray of cupcakes from Tesco and stick little flags in them, people will still be impressed/grateful for something to soak up the booze.
3 Slightly questionable costumes for each country
Nothing too culturally insensitive - mind you, the Germans have probably come to terms with the fact that lederhosen are hilarious by now. Some people aren't too keen on dressing up, which makes it all the more important you force everyone to participate, lest they be denied entry.
Eurovision is not a game.
4 Your Joe and Joke poster
If you hadn't heard (and let's be honest, you hadn't), Joe and Jake are the UK's representative at Eurovision this year. They met on The Voice and became a duo, and the rest, as they say, is history.
It's a very short history, mind.
Check out Joe and Jake's Eurovision song You're Not Alone
It's... not bad. It's not great, but it's certainly not bad. We're predicting a healthy 6 points in total.
5 Giant inflatable instruments
So you can embrace your inner rock star and play along with the TV (though if you've heard any of the songs for the 2016 contest, you'll know that guitars aren't exactly at the forefront of the sound).
Also you can use them to bash overly-belligerent guests over the head.
6 A range of cheeses from around Europe
Of course you need cheese; it's the cheesiest night of the year. Cheddar, Edam, Camembert, Gorgonzola - you've gotta get them all, to reflect the beautiful variety of European dairy products.
7 Flags. Lots and lots of flags
Flags for waving. Flags for wearing. Flags for decoration. Flags for everything!
8 Sweepstake chart
It wouldn't be Eurovision without a good ol' sweepstake. There are 26 countries, so you may have to take multiple countries, unless you're lucky enough to have that many friends. We wish we had that many friends.
You can download a PDF Eurovision sweepstake from the BBC here, and you should.
9 Booze, obviously
10 The Eurovision Song Contest Drinking Contest
You can follow one of the many Eurovision drinking games available, or make your own up. It's not like it actually matters; the fact is you'll be hammered before Graham Norton even gets his best line in.
11 Fondue, to celebrate the spirit of the 70s
Okay, it's been going since 1956, but Eurovision is a firmly 70s institution. Plus, any excuse to have more cheese...
12 Rip-off skirts, to celebrate the spirit of Bucks Fizz
In the interest of equality, the lads have to wear rip-off skirts too. It's only fair.
13 An explosive debate on whether the UK should remain in the EU or not
If you say Europe more than five times in the space of ten minutes, a debate will always break out. It's a fact, proven by science, so just be prepared for some of your friends to duke it out for a while. Maybe designate a separate room for any Brexit-related incidents.
14 Karaoke to round the night off
You've seen the pros (...) do their thing, so now it's your turn. Back to where we started: ABBA Gold.
My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender...