For the Eurovision Song Contest 2010, the BBC has chosen Pete Waterman as the song writer for the United Kingdom entry in Oslo, Norway.
In an interview with the BBC, Waterman outlines his approach in writing the UK entry for Eurovision. "It's hard enough writing a hit song in the first place, let alone a Eurovision winner. You need to come up with something simple and catchy, people think it's easy but it's not."
Waterman has 200 hits to his name, including 22 No.1's. "When the BBC called to ask if I would do it, I had two questions," he says. "The first was to ensure that I had a free hand musically and the second was to ask my old partner Mike Stock to help me. We haven't worked together recently, but we've remained friends and there was no question that I would be willing as long as he was prepared to do it with me. Mike is the musician and he interprets my ideas – a trouble shared is a trouble halved, as they say."
Pete and Mike have been spending recent times busy coming up with the perfect song. "We know it needs to work as part of a television spectacular, it must be dynamic and hit everyone in the first few bars, and we know it has to last less than three minutes," he says. "You have to have a formula; it will have to have an intro, at least two verses, a bridge and a chorus, nothing superfluous."
When asked about recent patterns on what makes a Eurovision winner? Pete says"I haven't thought about it like that. When I think of Eurovision I go back to the black and white years with Katie Boyle and the Eurovision logo, which was great. I loved Sandie Shaw's Puppet On A String, but you can't write songs like that any more. The audience today is highly educated and sophisticated and if you wrote Boom Bang A Bang or whatever they'd throw their arms up in the air."
In recent years the UK has been struggling in the Eurovision Song Contest final, except in 2009 when Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber penned the United Kingdom entry. Pete gives his opinion on why the UK has faired badly in recent years: "I think it's because, for a long time, top songwriters didn't want to do it," he says. "Last year Andrew Lloyd Webber broke the mould really as the first real writer to put himself in the firing line. Going back as far as Bill Martin and Phil Coulter writing Congratulations for Cliff Richard in 1968, you haven't really had established writers and, even when the UK last won in 1997, the record wasn't British – it was Katrina And The Waves. We've put some pretty strange songs out there in recent years, I think we've tried to be too trendy – it's about getting a great song."
Read the full interview at bbc.co.uk here.