Hate to remind you, but it’s been 23 years since the United Kingdom won Eurovision – that’s more than two whole decades since Katrina and the Waves were voted champs of Europe in 1997.
Could the country earn its long-awaited sixth victory at Eurovision 2020? Spoiler: probably not. But James Newman is going to give it a good try anyway on the Rotterdam stage.
Ed Sheeran’s songwriter has been selected as the UK’s Eurovision entrant, putting him head-to-head with the 40 other countries in this year’s competition…
But who exactly is he? Glad you asked: here’s everything you need to know…
Who is representing the UK at Eurovision 2020?
Name: James Newman
Not to be confused with his brother, singer John Newman, James Newman is a performer and songwriter who’s worked with the likes of Olly Murs, Ed Sheeran, Louis Tomlinson, Kesha and – most importantly – Backstreet Boys.
And like his brother, James has worked with drum and bass group Rudimental, even winning a Brit Award for British Single of the Year for Waiting All Night (with Rudimental and Ella Eyre) in 2014.
James Newman has also co-written hits including Lay It All on Me (by Rudimental, featuring Ed Sheeran), Love Me Like You (Little Mix), All I Am by (Jess Glynne).
Interestingly, Eurovision 2020 isn’t his first experience of the competition: he wrote single Dying to Try, which – being the hardcore Eurovision fan you are – you’ll recognise as the track that represented Ireland in 2017 (performed by X Factor’s Brendan Murray).
However, Newman will be hoping for a better finish at the 2020 contest: Dying to Try failed to qualify for the final.
While primarily a songwriter, Newman can also be heard on several tracks, including Matoma’s Lights Go Down and Don Diablo’s Head’s Up.
What is the UK’s Eurovision 2020 song called?
James Newman will perform My Last Breath at the Eurovision 2020 final. Hopefully, he’ll have worked out how to escape from these chilly woods by then.
The track was penned by One Direction writer Ed Drewett, Olly Murs producer Adam Argyle and Iain James – a songwriter who previously penned Running Scared, the song that won Eurovision for Azerbaijan in 2011.
Where did the UK come in last year’s Eurovision?
The United Kingdom participated in last year’s Eurovision Song Contest, after the BBC organised the national final Eurovision: You Decide 2019 in order to select the British entry for the contest which was held in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Michael Rice was selected and performed Bigger Than Us – a song which was later used as the theme song for the Pride of Britain Awards 2019.
As a member of the “Big 5”, the United Kingdom automatically qualified to compete in the final of the contest. However, they came in 26th place (last) with just 11 points from 41 international juries and the public. Overall, not a great year.
Duncan Laurence won the show for The Netherlands with his song “Arcade”, which he received a whopping a 492 points for.
When is Eurovision 2020?
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest grand final was set to take place at the Ahoy Rotterdam Arena on Saturday 16th May, but it’s been cancelled. Instead, the Shine a Light show will air on the same day on BBC One. Eurovision Come Together also airs on Saturday 16th May at 6.25pm with classic Eurovision acts performing.
Shine a Light will air on Saturday, 16th May on BBC One. Eurovision Come Together also airs on Saturday 16th May at 6.25pm with classic Eurovision acts performing. While you wait for Eurovision 2021 check out the full list of Eurovision winners, the Eurovision 2020 acts.