During today's Eurovision Song Contest press conference as part of the handover ceremony in Moscow, host city of the upcoming 2009 competition, Channel One director stated that the United Kingdom have raised the bar of the competition for 2009. He sees the United Kingdom as the country setting the standards for the year.
Director of Channel One Konstantin Ernst stated that he had talked at length with Andrew Lloyd Webber about the Eurovision Song Contest and he was impressed with what he had heard. It is his belief that such a prominent songwriter entering the competition has already improved the musical credibility of the competition.
Mr. Ernst stated: "We have Andrew Lloyd Webber making the song for the United Kingdom, so can you imagine the enormity of the competition this year". ("Ð� Ñ�Ñ�Ð¾Ð¼ Ð³Ð¾Ð´Ñ� Ñ� Ð½Ð°Ñ� Ñ�Ñ�Ð°Ñ�Ñ�Ð²Ñ�ÐµÑ� ÐºÐ¾Ð¼Ð¿Ð¾Ð·Ð¸Ñ�Ð¾Ñ� ÐÐ½Ð´Ñ�Ñ� Ð�Ð»Ð¾Ð¹Ð´ Ð�Ñ�Ð±Ð±ÐµÑ�. Ð�Ð½ Ð½Ð°Ð¿Ð¸Ñ�ÐµÑ� Ð¿ÐµÑ�Ð½Ñ� Ð´Ð»Ñ� Ð�Ð½Ð³Ð»Ð¸Ð¸, Ð¿Ð¾Ñ�Ñ�Ð¾Ð¼Ñ� Ð²Ñ� Ð¿Ð¾Ð½Ð¸Ð¼Ð°ÐµÑ�Ðµ Ð½Ð° ÐºÐ°ÐºÐ¾Ð¼ Ñ�Ñ�Ð¾Ð²Ð½Ðµ Ð¿Ñ�Ð¾Ð¹Ð´ÐµÑ� Ð�Ð²Ñ�Ð¾Ð²Ð¸Ð´ÐµÐ½Ð¸Ð¸ Ð² Ñ�Ñ�Ð¾Ð¼ Ð³Ð¾Ð´Ñ�").
The comments come hot on the heels of Prime Minister and former President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, declaring that Andrew Lloyd Webber has his personal vote after meeting the global musical and stage icon.
The United Kingdom will have a five week national selection show called Eurovision: Your country needs you, starting on Saturday 3rd January. The show will feature six acts picked by the most successful musical stage producer in the world. Each week, an act will be voted off and the next representative of the United Kingdom will be determined on Saturday 31st January.
Earlier today, tickets were made available for the four live television shows. They were snapped up in record time by fans hoping to be in the audience for the United Kingdom's new selection process.
Interest in the Eurovision Song Contest within the United Kingdom is at its highest for years with the announcement that Lloyd Webber will pen the song and select the entrant. The confirmation of Terry Wogan's retirement from commentary duties and the appointment of leading entertainment show host Graham Norton has further increased interest in recent weeks.