In a recent press conference for the 2021 Junior Eurovision Song contest, the EBU has stated they will be working on getting the United Kingdom to return.
In a recent press conference about this year’s upcoming Junior Eurovision Song contest executive supervisor Martin Österdahl responded with a “Yes” when asked If the EBU will working to get the full Big Five back at Junior Eurovision Song Contest. In the past two years Italy, Spain, France and Germany have all taken part in the contest. Germany took part in the contest for the first time in 2020 and will be returning in 2021.
The United Kingdom has not participated in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest since 2005 when ITV withdrew from the contest following low viewing figures. During the three years in which they competed, the United Kingdom finished in the top three on two occasions. The countries best result came in 2004 when Cory Spedding finished 2nd in Norway with the song “The Best is Yet to Come”. Their best result was 2nd place in 2004 with Cory Spedding. They have not shown interest to participate since 2006.
Since withdrawing from the competition in 2005, only one other broadcaster has shown an interest in participating in the contest. In 2008 Welsh broadcaster S4C looked into taking part in the competition in Cyprus. Wales would go on to debut at Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018. The Welsh language broadcaster has also taken part in Eurovision Choir of the Year.
The return of the United Kingdom would mean the nations which make up the United Kingdom such as Scotland or Wales would be unable to participate in the event as the entire United Kingdom has priority according to EBU.
“If the BBC would like to join the contest, they will reach out to the whole of the UK, and for that reason, they will have priority.” – Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand
Wales already ruled out returning to the contest in 2021 back in February with no further reason given. In 2020 Wales pulled out of the contest citing the current pandemic as a reason for its withdrawal. Making this decision so early on has sparked some speculation this withdrawal was done in anticipation of the United Kingdom returning, however, no official sources have confirmed this.
If the United Kingdom does return it is still unknown which broadcaster would take on the role of participation. Previously the United Kingdom’s participation in the event was handled by private broadcaster ITV. At the adult Eurovision Song contest, U.K.’s participation is handled by the public service broadcaster BBC.
Paris will host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2021 on December 19 in La Seine Musicale. The following countries have confirmed their participation so far:
- Portugal – Simão Oliveira
Image: EBU / Stijn Smulders / Source: EBU