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James Newman to have a second crack at representing the UK in Eurovision

By | Published on Monday 22 February 2021

Eurovision Song Contest

This year’s UK Eurovision entrant has been announced as James Newman, giving him another crack after COVID-19 put a stop to his efforts to avoid coming last in the competition in 2020. His 2021 song will be revealed next month.

“I’m so excited and honoured to be getting a second chance at representing my country in the Eurovision Song Contest”, says Newman. “I haven’t stopped making new music in lockdown and I can’t wait for everyone to hear the song I’m taking to Eurovision in 2021”.

Jo Wallace, Acting Controller Entertainment Commissioning for the BBC, adds: “We are so pleased to have James back with us and representing the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2021. After 2020 and the postponing of the 65th song contest, Eurovision is exactly what everyone needs!”

Newman’s selection comes as a result of a renewed partnership between the BBC and BMG, which began in 2019 in an effort to stop the UK sending absolute duds to take part in the contest each year. That deal meant that the British public no longer had any say in the UK’s selection process. Although given the choices they’d been given in recent years, I don’t think it’s fair to see the public as the weak link here.

BMG has now chosen two UK Eurovision entries. It’s first choice last year, ‘My Last Breath’ performed by Newman, was largely derided, but never actually made it to the competition as a result of it being cancelled. This year’s effort will definitely be judged by the European public and judging panels, so it remains to be seen if BMG and the Beeb’s continued confidence in Newman is deserved.

The UK tends not to fair well in Eurovision partly because we insist on entering terrible songs and partly for political reasons. Though, whatever Newman comes out with this year, it would be worth any mainland Europeans reading this giving some thought to how funny it would be for the UK to have to stage a fullscale celebration of Europe in 2022.

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest final is due to take place on 22 May.