James Newman has been confirmed as the UK artist for the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest after the competition was postponed due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.
The 65th Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in May 2021, and the song from the UK will be released in March 2021.
James Newman is an extremely successful, BRIT Award winning, Grammy nominated songwriter. James won a BRIT for UK Single of the Year for Waiting All Night, performed by Rudimental and Ella Eyre. He has also written hit singles like Lay It All On Me by Rudimental ft Ed Sheeran, Blame by Calvin Harris ft. John Newman, and Therapy by Armin Van Buuren and James Newman. Last year James wrote My Last Breath with renowned British songwriters Ed Drewett, Iain James and Adam Argyle. This was the song Britain entered in last year’s competition before being postponed. James released his debut EP “The Things We Do” in summer 2020 and ended the year with another new collaboration with Armin Van Buuren, “Slow Lane”.
The BBC also announces the renewed collaboration between the BBC Studios and the music company BMG for this year’s competition. The song will be published and published by BMG, and BBC Studios will once again produce the BBC’s coverage of the world’s largest and most watched song competition.
James Newman says: “I am so excited and honored to have a second chance to represent my country in the Eurovision Song Contest. I haven’t stopped making new music in lockdown and I can’t wait for everyone to hear the song I’m bringing to Eurovision in 2021. “
Jo Wallace, Acting Controller Entertainment Commissioning at the BBC, says: “We are very pleased to have James back with us, representing the UK at Eurovision 2021. After 2020 and the postponement of the 65th song competition, Eurovision is exactly what everyone needs! ”
Mel Balac, Creative Director at BBC Studios, says: “James really welcomed being part of the Eurovision family and Team ESC UK is delighted to have another shot at Eurovision.”
Alistair Norbury, President of Repertoire & Marketing UK at BMG, said: “BMG is pleased to continue our commitment to Eurovision and to continue to work with the BBC. As soon as 2020 was canceled we immediately turned to returning with James, but with a brand new song. There is definitely a strong feeling of unfinished business! “
After a process in 2019 where BBC Studios reached out to a number of record labels to pitch it, it was clear that BMG shared the BBC and BBC Studios vision of choosing a song with broad international appeal and attracting an artist who embodies the spirit and values of the Eurovision Song Contest.
The grand finale of the Eurovision Song Contest will take place on Saturday 22 May in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and will be broadcast live on BBC One with commentary from Graham Norton. and live on BBC Radio 2 with commentary from Ken Bruce. Ken Bruce will preview Eurovision on Friday, May 21st from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm on his Radio 2 show. The semi-finals will take place on Tuesday 18th and Thursday 20th May and will be broadcast live on BBC Four.
As one of the Big Five (United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, Italy), the United Kingdom does not have to qualify for the semi-finals of the competition and is automatically granted access to the Grand Final on Saturday. The Netherlands, as reigning champions, do not have to qualify for the semi-finals either and are automatically granted access to the grand finals.
The BBC’s Eurovision coverage is a BBC Studios production on behalf of Jo Wallace, Acting-Controller of Entertainment. The executive producer and head of delegation is Andrew Cartmell and the series producer and deputy head of the delegation is Lee Smithurst. Suzy Lamb is MD for BBC Studios Entertainment and Music and Mel Balac is the Creative Director. The editor of the BBC is Rachel Ashdown.