Eurovision's James Newman makes plea for UK positivity: 'it's not like we're terrible - we're really good at music'

United Kingdom's James Newman appears on stage during the second semi-final of the 65th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest 2021, at the Ahoy convention centre in Rotterdam, on May 20, 2021. (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP) (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)
James Newman wants the UK to get behind Eurovision. (KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)

The UK's Eurovision hopeful James Newman has urged his home country to get behind him in the contest, saying "it's not like we're terrible".

Newman has spent two years preparing for his star turn at the Eurovision Song Contest after 2020's event was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic and is determined to get the best possible experience now he is finally taking to the stage.

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He told Metro that he thought the UK needed to take a leaf out of Sweden's book and start backing its acts a little more by making stars of them at home.

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 21: James Newman of United Kingdom during the 65th Eurovision Song Contest dress rehearsal held at Rotterdam Ahoy on May 21, 2021 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
James Newman is representing the UK in Rotterdam. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Newman, 35, will be representing the UK in tonight's contest with the song Embers and said that the voting didn't need to fall victim to the usual politics between countries supporting their allies, as long as everyone put their best effort in.

He said: "I was speaking to someone form Europe and they were saying the UK is a really important country in the competition and they’re glad we’re here and making an effort and I think that’s all we can do.

"In Sweden, people really care and we need to do the same. Today, Clara Aamfo played my song on Radio One and Scott Mills – people hear it, talk and get behind the song in the UK like they do in other countries.

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 16: James Newman of United Kingdom arrives at the 65th Eurovision Song Contest held at Rotterdam Ahoy on May 16, 2021 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
James Newman says we need to take Eurovision more seriously. (Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

"We can do well if we make the effort. People need to be more positive – come on guys, it’s not like we’re terrible – we’re really good at music!"

Newman is one of the UK's more credible Eurovision acts, having had success as a songwriter on Rudimental track Waiting All Night.

He is also the older brother of singer and songwriter John Newman, who had a number one hit with Love Me Again.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04:  John Newman attends the launch of Berkley London, a bespoke luxury chauffeur & concierge founded by John Newman, at The Yard, Shoreditch, on  March 4, 2020 in London, England.  (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Berkley London)
John Newman is James' brother. (David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Berkley London)

The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest is being held in Rotterdam, which was named host city after Dutch singer Duncan Laurence won in 2019.

Last year's contest was the only one ever to have been cancelled since it began in 1956, and this year Iceland will have to compete via a screening of their semi-final performance as they were forced to pull out of the live grand final because of a positive COVID test.

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