BBC refuse to reveal the jury which decided the UK entry for Vienna
MIRROR.CO.UK REPORTS – The BBC has refused to reveal who sits on the “panel of experts” who decide which song and artist to put forward for the Eurovision Song Contest. Their reluctance to name names comes after the British public reacted with a resounding thumbs-down to this year’s choice, which will be performed by duo Electro Velvet .
Since scrapping the old process of allowing viewers to make the selection, via programmes such as Making Your Mind Up or A Song for Europe, the BBC has picked the UK’s entrant itself. This year’s choice, Still in Love with You, was written by the man who penned the theme tune to paedophile Jimmy Saville’s long-running BBC children’s series Jim’ll Fix It.
David Mindel, who is in his 70s, is also known for penning the theme tunes to Challenge Anneka, District Nurse, Harty and Food And Drink as well as the jingles for many adverts. One fan moaned: “Hip. Current. New. What a massive let down which serves to show, once more, the Beeb is utterly clueless when it comes to selecting a song for Eurovision.”
The first time the BBC chose the Eurovision act it was Blue, who finished in 11th place in 2011. But since then things have gone horribly downhill. In 2012 the “experts” picked ageing crooner Engelbert Humperdinck who finished second last in 25th place. The following year they selected another former favourite, Bonnie Tyler, who didn’t fare much better in 19th place. Last year it was the turn of newcomer Molly Smitten-Downes but the change in tactic did little to boost the UK’s fortunes in the competition and she ended up in 17th place.
The UK has only been placed in the top 10 once since Jemini’s infamous “nul points” of 2003 – in 2009 Jade Ewan finished fifth with the Andrew Lloyd Webber song It’s My Time.
Yesterday Electro Velvet singer Alex Larke, who also performs in a Rolling Stones tribute band, admitted that this 1920’s themed song was ‘like Marmite’, adding: “I like the fact it divides opinion. It’s better than everyone having apathy for it.” Bianca Nicholas, who last year auditioned for The Voice but got no turns from the coaches, added: “There’s a lot of ballads this year, so our song will stand out.” But the bookies yesterday gave the UK a 25/1 chance of winning the contest, with shorter odds of 8/1 that we’d end up getting nul points.
One member of the selection panel is executive producer Guy Freeman who has written a blog about the process. He explained: “The question of how we arrive at our UK entry is understandably foremost in many minds. “With 60 years of heritage and an array of different approaches taken by the BBC and other participating countries, over the years, it’s no wonder there’s such a variety of views as to what works best. “There are pros and cons to every method and in the long run no one formula has proved to be more likely to guarantee success than any other.” A BBC spokeswoman said the rest of the panel were all BBC staff who work across music and live events.