The UK’s next Eurovision act will be chosen by a music management company, after it came last with the dreaded “nil points” in the 2021 contest, the BBC has said.
The corporation, which as the country’s public service broadcaster looks after Eurovision for the UK, will collaborate with TaP Music, which counts the likes of Dua Lipa, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Ellie Goulding as clients, to select a performer for the competition in Turin, Italy next year.
Unlike other years, the selected track will get a wide release with a major record label – something other countries often do ahead of the competition.
TaP has called on the music industry to submit “experienced live performers” for consideration by the group, after criticism by fans that the country does not take the contest seriously enough – evidenced by a string of poor results.
Italy triumphed in 2021, with rock group Maneskin’s track Zitti E Buoni topping the continental leader board.
However, at the other end of the table was the UK, which failed to score a single point from both the public and professional juries, after act James Newman performed a self-penned hit Embers.
The BBC stopped public selection of the track for the 2020 contest, breaking away from other participants who often have grand selection contests, such as Sweden.
Co-founder of TaP Music Ben Mawson said: “We’re really excited to be teaming up with the BBC for this event and will use Eurovision to authentically reflect and celebrate the rich, diverse and world-class musical talent the UK is globally renowned for.
“For many years, we’ve witnessed the United Kingdom not doing as well as we would’ve liked, when pop music is something we usually excel at. The simple fact is it’s time to show what we can do and the wonderful musical talent we have – ultimately we can’t blame politics.”
Dua Lipa said: “I’m a proud Brit whilst also being a proud Kosovan… I’m happy to lend my manager to the cause… I’ll be cheering them on.”
Kate Phillips, controller of entertainment commissioning for the BBC, said: “In the UK our love for Eurovision is as big as ever and we have grand ambitions for the 2022 Contest, so we’re really excited to announce this collaboration that will enable us to tap into some great music talent.”
Despite many people calling for the UK to end its participation in Eurovision, it got its highest British audience since 2014 this year, with 7.4 million people tuning in – part of the 180 million people worldwide who watched.
Where has the UK placed in the last ten years?
2021: 26th (last) – Embers performed by James Newman
2019: 26th (last) – Bigger Than Us performed by Michael Rice
2018: 24th – Storm performed by Surie
2017: 15th – Never Give Up performed by Lucie Jones
2016: 24th – You’re Not Alone performed by Joe and Jake
2015: 24th – Still In Love With You performed by Electro Velvet
2014: 17th – Children Of The Universe performed by Molly
2013: 19th – Believe In Me performed by Bonnie Tyler
2012: 25th – Love Will Set You Free performed by Engelbert Humperdinck
2011: 11th – I Can performed by Blue