Lloyd Webber to Pen Entry for Eurovision Song Contest — and Help Choose Artist to Perform It

News   Lloyd Webber to Pen Entry for Eurovision Song Contest — and Help Choose Artist to Perform It Andrew Lloyd Webber has been recruited to write Britain's entry for next year's edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest, a Europe-wide competition inaugurated in 1956 that is broadcast live across the world, reaching audiences that are estimated to be between 100-600 million.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber Photo by Aubrey Reuben

In the contest, each member country submits a song to be performed on live TV, and then a voting panel from each is polled live to cast their votes for the other countries' songs to determine the most popular song in the competition. A parody of the program has been turned into a live theatre show Eurobeat, running at the Novello Theatre to Nov. 1.

Entrants are now being solicited from amateur, professional and semi-professional singers – soloists, duos and singing groups of up to six performers – to perform the entry that Lloyd Webber writes, and a shortlist of six finalists will be selected. The battle to represent the U.K. will climax in a series of live BBC1 TV shows, "Your Country Needs You," hosted by Graham Norton (who has done the same for the three reality TV series that produced the leads for the West End productions of The Sound of Music, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Oliver!, on which Lloyd Webber was one of the judges).

In a televised address on the BBC, Lloyd Webber invited entrants to submit an audition through the BBC website at www.bbc.co.uk/eurovision and commented, "The BBC have asked me to unite our kingdom in a quest to bring home the Eurovision Crown once more. I have been asked to write the song but where will I be unless one of you volunteer to sing it?"

Entries will be scrutinized by Lloyd Webber and his expert team of music industry professionals, who'll then decide on the shortlist. They will also have the ability to mix up the acts, delete and change their names in a bid to create the perfect entry that will go forward to represent Britain in the contest, being held in Moscow next May.

It has been over ten years since the U.K. last won the contest, but Lloyd Webber commented, "I have never shied away from the impossible and this looks like the biggest mission impossible of all time. But with the might of the British public behind me, who knows what will happen?" The deadline for entries is Nov. 21. Entrants have to submit a video clip of themselves or the group performing. It can be any song – either self-composed or a cover of an existing track. For the latter, entrants have been asked not to change the lyrics or tune. The video has to be a minimum of 30 seconds, but can be a mix of different performances or songs. All members of the group have to be singers. Musicians who cannot sing are not eligible to take part in the competition.

For further details visit www.bbc.co.uk/eurovision.