Entertainment & Arts

UK shakes up Eurovision entry selection process

Surie at Eurovision: You Decide in 2018
Image caption SuRie was chosen to represent the UK this year via a combined public and jury vote

As British politicians debate the country's future relationship with the EU, another vital question about the UK's role in Europe is being addressed - how it chooses a Eurovision entrant.

The BBC has announced it will overhaul the selection process for next year.

Three songs will each be performed in two different styles by two different artists, with one act from each pair going through to a final public vote.

Last year, SuRie came 24th out of 26 and had to deal with a stage invader.

She had been chosen to represent the UK via a combined public and jury vote.

This time, an international jury will choose the three songs and then give viewers a choice of different ways they could be performed, before the vote to pick the winner.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Can the UK's next entrant follow in the footsteps of 2018 winner Netta?

Eurovision: You Decide will be screened in February on BBC Two, live from Salford, hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Måns Zelmerlöw, who won the contest for Sweden in 2015.

The eventual victor will represent their nation in the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel, on 18 May. Netta won the event this year for Israel.

Eurovision: You Decide's executive producer Mel Balac said: "Our exciting 'euro-version' format will give fans the chance to compare and contrast these fantastic songs in a fresh, new way and deliver the United Kingdom the artist it deserves to fly the flag out in Tel Aviv."

Kate Phillips, BBC controller of entertainment commissioning, added: "We may be leaving the EU but we are still determined to win Eurovision again one day!"

The UK has not won Eurovision since 1997, and has not finished in the top 10 since 2009.

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