Page last updated at 18:16 GMT, Saturday, 18 October 2008 19:16 UK

Lloyd Webber pens Eurovision song

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Lord Lloyd Webber says 'your country needs you'

Andrew Lloyd Webber is to help pick the UK's next Eurovision entry, in a overhaul of the BBC's selection show.

Lord Lloyd Webber will compose the UK's entry and embark on a search for the singer or group to perform the song.

Graham Norton will host BBC TV show Your Country Needs You to find new talent for the 2009 contest, after a string of poor results for the UK.

Lord Lloyd Webber said: "Win, lose or draw, I am looking forward to every minute of it."

The BBC show will follow a similar format to the successful How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and I'd Do Anything, with Norton and Lord Lloyd Webber at the helm.

Last place

Six finalists chosen by Lord Lloyd Webber and music industry professionals from entries sent to the BBC website will take part in the TV show.

Viewers will have the final say on who gets to perform Lord Lloyd Webber's song.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Graham Norton
Norton and Lord Lloyd-Webber have teamed up on three BBC talent shows

In recent years the UK has performed poorly at Eurovision.

Last year, former X-Factor finalist Andy Abrahams came joint last, securing points from just Ireland and San Marino.

Russia's Dima Bilan won the contest, sparking more accusations of "friendly" voting between neighbouring countries.

Lord Lloyd Webber, who has had number one hits with songs like Any Dream Will Do and Don't Cry for Me Argentina, added: "In my life I have never shied away from the impossible and this looks like the biggest mission impossible of all time.

"But with the might of the BBC and the British public behind me (not to mention Graham Norton) who knows what will happen?"

Lord Lloyd Webber came aboard the UK's 2009 Eurovision bid following last month's announcement about changes in the contest's voting system.

Next year, the points will be decided by a mix of jury votes and public votes. The contest will be held in Moscow in May.




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