Eurovision Song Contest UK entry for 2020 revealed

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

James Newman will represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

The songwriter and brother of the hit singer John Newman will perform My Last Breath.

The UK was snubbed at the 2019 contest, placing last.

This year’s offering has previously worked with Rudimental, Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris.

Newman said: “It’s such an honour to be representing the United Kingdom this year at Eurovision – I still can’t quite believe it. I’m also so proud to be taking My Last Breath as the song.

“I wrote it with some of my best friends, who are also amazingly talented songwriters in their own right. I knew it was ‘the one’ after first recording it, I just loved the simplicity and universal message of the song.”

Newman’s songwriting hits include Waiting All Night, performed by Rudimental and Ella Eyre.

He also wrote Lay It All On Me, performed by Rudimental featuring Ed Sheeran, and Blame, performed by Calvin Harris featuring John Newman.

Kate Phillips, BBC controller of entertainment commissioning, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have James on board to represent the UK at this year’s contest.

“Eurovision is all about the song, and as an award-winning singer-songwriter with a proven track record, I know James will do all he can to get us on the left-hand side of the board – it’s a very exciting year for the UK.”  

Suzy Lamb, managing director for BBC Studios, Entertainment and Music, said: “James has a great track record of writing multiplatinum-selling pop songs and we are excited he has taken on the challenge to hopefully put the UK on the Eurovision map again.”

The score for last year’s UK entry, Michael Rice’s Bigger Than Us, was later lowered by five points after organisers made an error while calculating the totals.

This year, BBC bosses scrapped the public vote to team up with a record label to choose the singer and the song instead.

Newman’s brother joked on social media that it was a “family affair”, and like “an Oasis head-to-head race to the top”.

The 65th Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in May.