A Scottish Member of the European Parliament has approached the EBU with a proposal which would allow Scotland to be represented in the Eurovision Song Contest.
Alyn Smith, a Scottish National Party member of the European Parliament, is leading new calls for Scotland to be represented on the Eurovision stage. In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Herald, Mr Smith was critical of the current BBC approach to Eurovision:
It’s a little bit snide and grudging the way the BBC does it. This is a shop window and a stage on which we could shine whereas the way that the BBC does it still is ‘this is a bit of camp nonsense and it’s rubbish, and it’s great because it’s rubbish, and it’s great because it’s camp’.
As a result, Smith has suggested a new approach to selection of the UK Eurovision entry. He has suggested a rotating system whereby each nation of the UK would take it in turn to enter the contest. According to the Herald, the EBU has confirmed that there is nothing to stop the implementation of this format. Indeed, there is a precedent – the Belgian entry for Eurovision rotates between the Flemish broadcaster VRT and the French-speaking broadcaster RTBF.
In the UK, the BBC is currently just one of four EBU members, alongside ITV, STV and Welsh broadcaster S4C. S4C has already participated in a Eurovision event – Eurovision Choir of the Year 2017.
Smith considers that his proposal would allow Scotland’s music to have greater representation on the world stage:
This is a shop window that Scotland could have once every four years presently, or indeed in an independent Scotland every year, to an audience of the entire European continent and wider. It’s an opportunity to showcase the vibrant Scottish music scene that we have in spades.
Back in 2014, in the lead up to the Scottish independence referendum, the SNP suggested that Scotland would have a fast-track to Eurovision participation if the country voted to separate from the UK. In the end, Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.
Over the years, as part of the UK, Scottish artists have competed in Eurovision. Most famously, Scottish singer Lulu claimed victory (in a four-way tie) in Eurovision 1969 with Boom Bang-A-Bang.
Scotland will play host to a Eurovision event in 2018: the capital city Edinburgh has been announced as the host for Eurovision Young Musicians from 16th-25th August.
The Sunday Herald approached the BBC for comment on Mr Smith’s proposal and received the following reply:
The BBC is a member of the EBU and as such we submit a song for the competition as the United Kingdom entry.”
Source: Sunday Herald
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
The United Kingdom debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957 and holds the record for the most consecutive appearances in the contest. To date the UK has won the contest a total of five times, with their first victory coming in 1967 and their latest in 1997. The UK holds the record for the most second place finishes in the contest, having been runner-up a total of 15 times. Since 2000 the UK has finished within the top 10 only twice, this being in 2002 with Jessica Garlick and in 2009 with Jade Ewen. Last year the country found relative success in Kyiv, when Lucie Jones finished in 15th place with “Never Give Up On You”.