Blog: Liz Truss denied Eurovision ‘post-Brexit snub’ and pointed finger at BBC for ‘nul points’ – Express

The second Eurovision Semi-Final will be broadcast tonight on BBC Three, live from Turin, Italy. Scott Mills and Rylan Clark are on hosting duties as 18 acts battle it out for a place in Saturday’s Grand Final. The UK automatically qualifies for the final due to it being one of the five original members of the European Broadcasting Union, along with France, Spain, Germany and Italy.

This year, the UK is represented by Sam Ryder, who will perform his song ‘Space Man’ in the final.

Last year, the British Eurovision entry was James Newman who finished last with his song, ‘Embers’.

The acclaimed songwriter, who is the older brother of pop star John Newman, received the dreaded “nul points”.

Following the appalling outcome, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – then a Trade minister – claimed that the result was not a “post-Brexit snub” by Europe in response to its withdrawal from the EU.

Speaking to LBC radio, the Tory politician also argued that the BBC should not decide who represents the UK in the song contest.

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She said: “I think there is a fundamental problem with the way that we are choosing our performances and singers for the Eurovision song contest.

“I don’t think it is a post-Brexit snub.

“I think we need to have more competition to get the right entry, I think they need to be more tested with the public.

“I am here today at LBC responding to questions from listeners. That is the kind of testing that we need our song contest entrant to go through.

“So maybe it should be LBC running it, not the BBC.”

He added: “I genuinely had the best night of my life. I loved the crowd’s reaction because I got a standing ovation and everyone was cheering.”

This year, the UK’s hopes rest on Sam Ryder, a singer who has 12 million fans on TikTok.

Despite the UK’s dismal recent performances at Eurovision, the star has vowed not let history stand in his way.

He said: “I don’t want to let the stigma or fear of coming at a certain place in a table stop me from doing something and being a part of something that I enjoy so much.”

This year, almost 200 million viewers are expected to watch the Eurovision final.

So far, Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, who progressed from Semi-Final 1, have been tipped as the favourites to win the competition.

Meanwhile, Russia has been banned from Eurovision because of its invasion of Ukraine in February.

Eurovision Semi-Final 2 airs on BBC Three tonight from 8pm.

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