Eurovision 2021 is set to take place this year after James Newman was confirmed as the UK’s representative in the annual singing contest.
The BBC confirmed that it would once again broadcast the event in May, with Graham Norton as host.
Where will Eurovision 2021 take place?
This year’s Eurovision contest will take place at the Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands on May 22.
James – who’s a BRIT Award-winning singer-songwriter – says he’s thrilled to represent the UK.
“I’m so excited and honoured to be getting a second chance at representing my country in the Eurovision Song Contest,” he said.
“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.”
The song he will be taking to Holland will be announced in March.
Why was last year’s Eurovision cancelled?
The global coronavirus pandemic put paid to last year’s Eurovision.
A statement from the European Broadcasting Union said: “Over the past few weeks, we have explored many alternative options to allow the Eurovision Song Contest to go ahead.
“However, the uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision to not continue with the live event as planned.”
The uncertainty created by the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe means the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has taken the difficult decision to not continue with the live event as planned.
As one of the Big Five countries, the UK does not have to qualify from the semi-final stage of this year’s competition.
Therefore, James will gain automatic access to the Saturday Grand Final.
As the current champion, the Netherlands will also not need to qualify from the semi-final stage.
Eurovision 2021 primer: What happened last time and where did the UK finish?
The last Eurovision event happened in 2019, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands won with his ditty, Arcade, while Italy finished second and Russia finished third.
Sadly, the UK – and its entrant Michael Rice – finished last.
His tune, Bigger Than Us, failed to impress anyone across the continent.
When was the last time the UK won the contest?
The UK has had a miserable recent record at Eurovision.
Sandie Shaw was the first British winner in 1967, but since then it’s been slim pickings.
Lulu won it two years later, and the Brotherhood Of Man were crowned Eurovision winners in 1976.
Bucks Fizz memorably won the competition in 1981 with Making Your Mind Up, but the UK had to wait another 16 years until its next victory.
Since Katrina And The Waves’ win in 1997, it has been a barren hunting ground for the UK.
How long has Eurovision been going?
Eurovision – formerly the Eurovision Song Contest – has been held annually since 1956.
Designed to enhance European cooperation in the years after World War II, the first contest saw seven nations take part.
As the competition grew, in 1958 organisers decided to award the winner of the contest the right to host the next year’s bash.
Since that first-ever Eurovision Song Contest, a total of 64 competitions have taken place, with 52 countries taking part.
As for winners, Ireland have won the competition seven times, with Luxembourg, France and the UK next with five wins a-piece. Next are Sweden and the Netherlands with four victories each.
ABBA remain the most successful act in Eurovision history, after winning it in 1974 and going on to become global superstars.
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