Next Up: 2021 – United Kingdom

The United Kingdom selected successful singer-songwriter James Newman as their act for this year’s cancelled contest. But will he return for the struggling Eurovision nation in 2021? 

In today’s episode, we look at the United Kingdom in 2021. For a full review of their potential entry for 2020, check out this article on our partner website Eurovision Union. Check out our thoughts for next year below.

Key takeaways: A proven and succesful songwriter

Many were impressed by the United Kingdom’s decision to send James Newman to Eurovision. A proven and successful singer-songwriter, Newman’s selection definitely generated a buzz in the Eurovision community. This perhaps justified a move back to an internal selection for the UK, after a string of mid to low finishes in the Grand Final. The UK have long been regarded as a nation that does not take Eurovision as seriously as other nations, but this artist selection could be the start of a shifting mentality.

‘My Last Breath’ was a fresh pop song written by Newman and a team of songwriters. It is difficult to predict how this song would have fared at Eurovision, but it was widely considered a step in the right direction for the UK. It was radio-friendly, yet also had the potential to be performed well as a live production.

How to proceed with James Newman?

There has not yet been any official confirmation that Newman will represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision 2021. James Newman has come out since the cancellation of Eurovision to confirm that he would like to represent the UK if possible. It would be a sensible and fair move to let him write and compete with another original song for 2021.

In James Newman, the UK has a natural-born songwriter and a true professional. His experience will no doubt serve him well if he is to represent his country in Rotterdam. He is a composed and reliable performer on a live stage. The fact that he is a seasoned songwriter is also promising for 2021. If he is selected, the UK can be confident that he will be able to write a quality entry, and likely have a clear staging concept to match.

Exploring other options

It is not clear whether the United Kingdom is considering returning to their ‘You Decide’ national final format for 2021, although that scenario would be unlikely. They have a strong artist in James Newman, and it would make sense to give him a second opportunity in Rotterdam. It is not certain why there has not been any confirmation of his participation, but a decision should come in due time.

If the BBC is to opt for a different artist or preselection format, there will be pressure on them to produce something special. James Newman is arguably one of the most relevant and high-profile artists that the United Kingdom has selected for Eurovision in their recent history.

About “Next Up: Eurovision 2021”

In our series Next Up: 2021, we look ahead to the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. After the cancellation of Eurovision 2020, all participating countries now face the choice: Stick with their Eurovision singer, or come up with a new preselection or internal selection.

We make an analysis based on what we know so far. What will this country do, or most likely do? And is that the wise choice, looking at the fact that the Eurovision Song Contest remains a music competition?


  1. In my opinion this was a stone cold certainty for bottom 3. Dreary goes no where kind of song. Only the UK would find a number 1 artist with an incredible voice and decide to send his fat camp brother. Something more contemporary for 2021. Let’s tey a good song for a change UK

  2. I have hoped and dreamed for many years that I would, one day, have the opportunity to write a UK song for the Eurovision Song Contest. Well…..I have done just that!
    I have just composed a song for the UK entry 2021. It is light hearted, fun and has a cracking ‘hook’ which will be difficult to shake off the moment you hear it. In the situation we all find ourselves ‘fun’ and ‘light hearted’ I thought, was the way to go. It has a really great title too!?!
    Having followed Eurovision for about 4 decades now, both as a Music teacher and a super fan, I feel I now have a great formula for producing a catchy Eurovision song.
    I really hope the BBC decide to have a ‘You Decide’ style programme again so my song can be one of many to be considered. Shouldn’t Eurovision be totally inclusive and consider all entries in a competitive situation? That’s how it used to be!
    Can someone let me know how I go about entering my song as I am desperate to release it to the UK public as soon as possible.
    Looking forward to Eurovision 2021 and here’s hoping I get a shot at entering my song into the unique, fantastic and exciting world that is the ‘Eurovision Song Contest’.

    Happy Eurovision 2021 and …continue to stay safe.


  3. Me again!
    Replying to myself. This is what shielding does to you!!
    I am still hoping my song will be accepted as an entry for UK Eurovision 2021. Friends and relatives have listened to it and commented that it is a great song and perfect for 2021 during Pandemic. Simple, not too serious, bouncy…..ear worm…..etc etc . Unlike other songs I have heard!!!!
    The title of my song is ….? Want to find out more? Contact BMG – they said it was “catchy”, (but don’t mention me!).

  4. @David Patuzzo Just leaving this here cuz I’m curious. The UK has yet (as of October 10th) to announce participation. What I’m curious about is whether you found something that talked about Eurovision entry submissions or if you just sent one in. Essentially, I’m worried (as a viewer from the UK) that the pandemic might put us off from entering. Though I’m sure the situation is just that we haven’t announced participation yet, I’m just looking for a bit of confirmation. That said, as you are a stranger on the internet, I can’t just fully believe anything you say, hopefully you understand where I’m coming from

    • You are absolutely right, the UK have yet to announce participation in Eurovision 2021. I actually hoped that the BBC might see my comment about submitting a song and then maybe consider having a ‘nation decides’ type show again. Most other European countries do this and they receive lots of public song submissions.
      After informing BMG I had composed a new song they requested I send it to them and they commented that it was ‘catchy’. ……However, there has been no follow-up.
      In my mind, the fact that they had asked for it maybe indicates that they may be unsure that they are still calling the shots. Perhaps the BBC have left the ‘door open’ to a TV decision show? Who knows!
      It’s all wishful thinking on my part because I am keen to enter my song.
      The UK, I’m pretty sure, will enter Eurovision 2021 as they help to finance it. There would be problems without us!
      I do understand where you are coming from and, of course, the feeling is mutual.
      Fingers crossed the UK/BBC pull their finger out and inform the nation asap as to what is happening.
      Here’s looking forward to another great year of Eurovision.

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