Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Sunday, 4 January 2009

Webber unveils Eurovision singers

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Your Country Needs You finalists
The six acts were chosen after a nationwide search

Andrew Lloyd Webber has unveiled the six hopefuls he has chosen to bid for glory at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Two male soloists, two female singers, a duo consisting of twin sisters and an all-male quintet will do battle in BBC One show Your Country Needs You.

Andrew Lloyd Webber will write the song for the successful act, set to take part in May's competition in Moscow.

After a series of live shows, the winning act, which is chosen by the public, will be revealed on 31 January.

The first live programme takes place on Saturday 10 January on BBC One.

Dire results

Saturday night's launch show at 1910 GMT initially attracted 6.4 million people, but ratings slipped to capture an average audience of 4.9 million.

Graham Norton, who is hosting the programme, will take over from Sir Terry Wogan as the UK's commentator on the Eurovision final, which is taking place on 16 May in the Russian capital.

The female solo hopefuls are Essex teenager Charlotte and Jade from east London - billed as Plaistow's very own Rihanna.

Mark, from Denbighshire, north Wales, and Damien, a 32-year-old singer-songwriter from London, have been picked to represent the male soloists.

The Twins - Francine and Nicola - are also in the running, along with vocal group Emperors of Soul.

Lloyd Webber, who has taken on the challenge of improving the UK's dire results in recent song contests, said: "I think on the whole we've got a proper set of contestants."

At last year's competition in Belgrade, UK singer Andy Abraham finished last in a field of 25 entrants.

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