The BBC has discontinued the national final in the United Kingdom. Therefore there has been a direct nomination of the successful singer and songwriter James Newman. He is no stranger in the UK, as he is mainly composing for other singers with great success, e.g. “Therapy” together with the highly acclaimed Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren. James’s brother John is a singer as well and James could write many songs for him. John’s worldwide hit “Love Me Again” is still being played in the radio stations all over the world.
James is also a good friend of Ed Sheeran and was also involved in “Lay All Your Love On Me” . Hence James is a very successful songwriter, who sold multi-platinum, could win the Brit Award 2014 with a song by English drum and bass band Rudimental “Waiting All Night” - this was James’s first number 1 hit in the UK. Have a look at one of his songs he is singing himself “Love me again”.
With this choice the UK would have been on the right track to have a solid Eurovision representative and a good song. Unfortunately, the Corona crisis has destroyed all hopes this year. It’s still unclear if James will have the right to go again in 2021.
The song has been co-composed by Iain James, who has also co-composed the winning song from Azerbaijan 2011 “Running Scared” by Ell & Nikki. The UK entry “My Last Breath” has a greatly made video clip in a snowy forest, maybe this is the connection where James was inspired to write the song sitting at a loch (lake) in Scotland, where the song was recorded. The enticing simplicity make this a strong song.
Top 10: 41
Chances for Top 10: 65%
The United Kingdom had its debut in 1957, in 1967 they could win for the very first time, when the Eurovision Song Contest was still called “Grand Prix d’Eurovision de la Chanson”. In 1958 the United Kingdom has withdrawn, so it’s one of the participating countries with the longest stand in the ESC history. Over the years the United Kingdom has become one of the most successful countries with five victories and 15x 2nd places and 41x Top10 placings. Especially in the 60’s and 70’s the ESC was very important for the UK music market, but this has changed dramatically. Nevertheless the UK entries have mostly been contemporary and radio friendly and many of them have become great hits or even evergreens. But this has changed significantly. It seems that the general interest in the ESC has decreased massively, and that such a big music nation is not presenting their best artists with the best songs.
Additionally the general interest has been impacted as well, which is mainly due to the funny, sarcastic and snappy comments of the BBC commentator Terry Wogan, who unfortunately passed away at the end of January 2016. There was less good will and appreciation, unfortunately the music of the ESC has been put in the trash corner with the consequence that this music event is not being taken seriously anymore. With the effect that established singers and composers make a wide berth around the ESC. Even if the BBC has send Blue, Engelbert Humperdinck and Bonnie Tyler as “old weapons” into the contest, it did not bring back the old glamourous times. It seems those singers have only been taken part for reactivating their careers. There are so many talented singers and composers in the UK, those should be motivated and encouraged instead. The time has passed when UK entries were successful song which also topped the European charts.
The English speaking countries always enjoyed the language advantage for a long time. Since the language rule has been eased for every country, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta have suffered a lot, all countries were able to sing in English or any language of their choice.
The BBC had the honour to organize a special 60th anniversary concert of the ESC with previous winners and participants in 2015. It was a fulminant show with a lot of memories and melodies with an enthusiastic audience in the Apollo Hammersmith Theatre in London. Unfortunately, this concert has not been broadcasted live and the show was not broadcasted in the countries of Eurovision.
5x 1st place “Puppet On A String” |Sandie Shaw (Vienna 1967) “Boom Bang-a-bang” |Lulu (Madrid 1969) “Save Your Kisses For Me” |Brotherhood of Man (The Hague 1976) “Making Your Mind Up” |Bucks Fizz (Dublin 1981) “Love Shine A Light” |Katrina and The Waves (Dublin 1997)
15x 2nd place “Sing Little Birdie” |Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson (Hilversum 1959) “Looking High, High, High” |Bryan Johnson (London 1960) “Are You Sure?” |The Allisons (Cannes 1961) “I Love The Little Things” |Matt Monro (Copenhagen 1964) “I Belong” |Kathy Kirby (Naples 1965) “Congratulations” |Cliff Richard (London 1968) “Knock, Knock (who's There?)” |Mary Hopkin (Amsterdam 1970) “Beg, Steal Or Borrow” |The New Seekers (Edinburgh 1972) “Let Me Be The One” |The Shadows (Stockholm ¬1975) “Rock Bottom” | Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran (London 1977) “Go” |Scott Fitzgerald (Dublin 1988) “Why Do I Always Get It Wrong” |Live Report (Lausanne 1989) “One Step Out Of Time” |Michael Ball (Malmö 1992) “Better The Devil You Know” |Sonia (Millstreet 1993) “Where Are You?” | Imaani (Birmingham 1998)
3x 3rd place “Power To All Our Friends” |Cliff Richard (Luxembourg 1973) “Love Enough For Two” | Prima Donna (The Hague 1980) “Come Back” |Jessica Garlick (Tallinn 2002)