It’s been a long road to get here, but this year’s UK Eurovision song has finally been unveiled.
James Newman will represent us at the 2021 Song Contest with his song Embers, which received its first play on Radio 2 on Thursday.
It is described as a “joyous concoction of explosive dance beats, blended with its gospel-inspired vocals, melodic piano lines and horn sections”.
James had been set to perform the song My Last Breath at last year’s contest until the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The European Broadcasting Union previously said the 2020 songs would not be eligible for this year’s show, despite some artists returning to the competition.
James, who is the brother of pop star John Newman, said of his new track: “I wanted to write an upbeat and positive song that people could have a party to.
“It’s about the spark between people who love each other. Just because you don’t see the people you care about all the time, doesn’t mean that spark isn’t there.”
The 2021 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Rotterdam on 22 May, after the Netherlands won the 2019 event.
Organisers have announced it’s their intention to have all 42 representatives performing live on stage in Rotterdam, although a decision about whether Eurovision will be able to have an audience is yet to be made.
“The spirit and tradition of the Eurovision Song Contest is about uniting Europe on one stage and we are very much still determined to achieve this in Rotterdam in May,” said Martin Österdahl, Eurovision’s Executive Supervisor.
“We are moving forward with our plans to produce a safe Eurovision Song Contest, with all artists performing live in Rotterdam.
“This protocol demonstrates our commitment to make this happen, with the health and safety of everyone attending, including crew and press, our top priority.”
The EBU has also published the extensive coronavirus measures they’re planning to take to make sure Eurovision goes ahead as safely as possible.
It’s been recommended that each competitor quarantines for five days before flying out to The Netherlands, and they must test negative for Covid-19 at most 72 hours before the make the journey.
After arriving in The Netherlands, everyone must stay in their hotel, with the exception of travelling to the arena for rehearsals and performances, as well as “other programme-related activities”.
Regular testing will also take place for cast, crew and press throughout the process, in a special venue next to the arena.