The BBC has a new plan to win Eurovision, and you can help
The UK is to hold a public X Factor-style selection show to find a Eurovision entry, for the first time in several years.
UK entrants have had a run of bad luck at the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years, placing in the top ten just once since 2003.
2015 British entrants Electro Velvet scored finished 24th out of 27 with just 5 points, with an entry that was renowned for its likeness to a vintage waffle ad.
However, the BBC is to shake up the selection process ahead of the contest next May – appealing to the public for entrants, and adopting a TV selection show to finalise the winner for the first time since 2010.
A statement from the BBC revealed that a panel will draw a shortlist from public entrants to determine those who will take part in a national final, before the public will vote to decide the final entrant.
Details of the entrance process have not yet been revealed, though Eurovision rules state that a song must be under three minutes in length and not previously released.
The 2016 contest is set to take place in the Swedish capital city of Stockholm, following the victory of Måns Zelmerlöw.
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Graham Norton, who is returning as commentator next year, said: “Eurovision is one of the highlights of my year and I love the fact that the BBC is launching its biggest song search ever.
“I think it really shows that they take the competition seriously and the fact that the public will get the final say on who is sent to represent the UK in Stockholm next year is the icing on the cake!”
The BBC’s Eurovision exec Guy Freeman said: “This year really will be the biggest song search for Eurovision the BBC has ever undertaken.
“With input from key industry figures and fan associations, plus with the public having the final say we are looking forward to seeing a true People’s Eurovision entry representing the UK at next year’s competition in Sweden.”
Earlier this year, the broadcaster admitted to removing scenes of Russia being booed over anti-gay laws from the broadcast of a Eurovision anniversary show.
To date, 38 countries are provisionally confirmed to take part in Eurovision next year, though the number could rise over the coming days as broadcasters lock in their plans.
The 2016 Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will take place on May 14, 2016.