Eurovision 2020: James Newman announced as United Kingdom’s entry

Singer-songwriter James Newman will represent the United Kingdom at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

He’ll perform My Last Breath at the event’s final in Rotterdam in The Netherlands on 16 May.

Speaking to Radio 1 Newsbeat, James hopes his “simple, memorable and anthemic” song will help win votes.

James is a successful pop songwriter and has written for acts including Ed Sheeran and Jess Glynne, and is the older brother of John Newman.Presentational white space

The UK’s looking to improve on 2019’s contest, when Michael Rice’s X-Factor style ballad Bigger Than Us finished in last place.

It marked the fourth time the UK had come bottom of the table but James says he doesn’t feel nervous at that prospect.

He feels his song will “connect” with the audience and says he has a “massive opportunity to get my song out to the world in such a big way”.

Ed Sheeran, Little Mix and Louis TomlinsonJames has co-written song for pop acts such as Ed Sheeran, Little Mix and Louis Tomlinson

James is signed to record label BMG, who the BBC have worked with to select and produce this year’s entry.

After he was approached, James says he had a “little think” before saying yes but decided Eurovision was a “celebration of music”.

While the United Kingdom is still one of the most successful countries in the 63-year history of the contest (five wins in total), it’s seen little success since its last win in 1997.

Whilst many still associate the event with camp, cheese and tackiness, the modern day contest is a slick production where many countries send their best acts.

Eurovision is the world’s largest live music event, with organisers claiming the 2019 edition was seen by 182 million viewers across 40 markets.

Duncan Laurence winning for The NetherlandsDuncan Laurence won the 2019 contest for the Netherlands with his stirring ballad, Arcade.

“Since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted to be an artist and performer myself,” says James. “It just feels like the right time to start putting songs out.”

He says he’s lucky to have a brother like John (Newman) who’s used to performing in front of thousands of people but, with a cheeky smile, he reckons it’s time to show everyone who the “actual good singer” is.

My Last Breath was written in Scotland when he was staying near a loch with his mates (and fellow songwriters) Ed Drewett, Iain James and Adam Argyle.

“We were jumping in the loch every morning. This was January. It was freezing.”