The BBC have confirmed that Andrew Lloyd Webber has agreed to compose the United Kingdom entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. Additional details have now been confirmed, including news that Graham Norton will host the series – as revealed in August by esctoday.com.
The search is open to all artists both amateur and professional – details of how to enter can be found here. Entrants will be scrutinised by Andrew and a team of music industry professionals, who’ll then decide on a shortlist of six finalists. He and his experienced team will be able to pick and mix the artists in order to put together the best acts. Once Andrew has seen the various artists he will begin work with a top lyricist and record producer to create the song for Eurovision.
The battle to represent the UK will climax in a series of live shows Your Country Needs You on BBC One, hosted by Graham Norton, where the viewers will have the final say on who will pick up the baton for the country in the Eurovision extravaganza being held in Moscow next May.
The BBC have worked hard to create a new format for the Eurovision Song Contest selection, and despite attempts at multi-week formats in the past, it has never been possible. The Eurovision Song Contest has continued to defy the critics in the United Kingdom, with consistently high viewing figures despite poor results in recent years. It is hoped that the new format will drive those figures higher and increase interest in the competition.
Elaine Bedell, Controller Entertainment Commissioning said: “I'm delighted that Andrew's agreed to step up to the mighty challenge of restoring some pride in our musical entry to this much loved national event. It certainly needs his passion and vision, and we can't wait for the search to begin!”
Provisional Show dates:
- Round One: Saturday 3rd January 2009
- Round Two: Saturday 10th January 2009
- Round Three: Saturday17th January 2009
- Semi Final: Saturday 24th January 2009
- Final: Saturday 31st January 2009