Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Friday, 28 May 2010 08:43 UK

Eurovision 2010: Pete Waterman

Pete Waterman
Waterman was awarded an OBE for services to music in 2004

Pete Waterman says it is "highly unlikely" the UK will win the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo this weekend, but he's giving it his best shot.

The 63-year-old, who made his name as part of hi-NRG hit machine Stock Aitken Waterman, has written this year's entry, That Sounds Good To Me, with his old partner in crime Mike Stock.

Harkening back to his singles with Kylie, Hazel Dean and Rick Astley, the song is a poptastic disco anthem, with a nod to Blame It On The Boogie in its life-affirming lyrics.

The song will be performed by 19-year-old newcomer Josh Dubovie, and Waterman gave the BBC News website a frank assessment of his chances.

What's the secret to writing a Eurovision winner?

To be honest, we didn't approach it like that. There have been a couple of songs this year which have been nicked from our old Kylie material, so we thought people were still used to those sorts of songs, and just wrote something that we believed was a good song.

The song has changed a bit since Josh won Your Country Needs You last month. How come?

The problem is that, in the olden days, we would never have written a song without knowing exactly who it was for. This was a bit different - so you've got two versions.

[The finished track] is a lot slower, it's a lot more dramatic. We've changed two or three of the lyrics. Purely because we got to know Josh a little better, and we wanted it to bring more of his singing out.

Josh Dubovie rehearses for the Eurovision Song Contest
Josh Dubovie will perform this year's Eurovision song

Are you nervous about his performance?

It's like a penalty - you've got one shot. He's got to get used to a big audience, big acoustics, cameras all over the place, lighting. He cannot be distracted. He's got to listen, in his earpiece, for the countdown. He's got to listen for the first note. Because if he misses his intro, he's gone. You don't get a second chance.

He's not a seasoned professional. How wise is it to send someone like that to represent the UK in front of millions?

Arguably, by knowing just how difficult it is, he won't take anything for granted. Come Saturday, he will have done [the song] so many times that, hopefully, it will have become second nature, and we will be able to get him over that first five seconds.

So if you bring the sunshine

I'll bring the good times

Just add your laughter

It's happy ever after

I don't know about you

But that sounds good to me

How do you rate our chances? Have you heard any of the other songs?

I'm not really interested in the other songs, because he's got the same chances as everybody else.

Are we realistic? Yes, we're realistic. But we're going over there. We'll have a good time. We'll all come out of it learning something. And there is always an outside chance that something bizarre might happen and we might win Eurovision. Highly unlikely, but there you go. It might happen.

Some commentators said the UK did well last year because the juries all knew Andrew Lloyd Webber's name. Does the Stock Aitken Waterman brand have the same sort of recognition in Europe?

We've had more hits than Andrew - but he did an amazing amount of publicity last year, and we haven't done that.

Does it matter that the UK treats Eurovision as a slightly camp, kitsch thing, when the rest of Europe sees it very differently?

I think its sad, personally. A lot of guys like me came into the business because we loved Eurovision. It became a joke because the record industry wouldn't engage in it. And if you don't engage in it, you can't win it. That's the problem.

Today, the record industry wouldn't dare put forward a well-known artist like they did in the 1960s. If you said: "We want Take That to enter Eurovision" they'd nearly murder you. They'd never speak to you again. Their solicitors would chop you off at the knees.

Rick Astley
Stock Aitken Waterman wrote Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up

There was a rumour a couple of years back that Morrissey would do it.

I think it's a bit of publicity, isn't it? You can't quite see Morrissey joining the Eurovision crowd.

Is there a good, current UK artist who could win Eurovision?

I don't think you can think like that. You need to sit down with the record industry and work out what you want to do with Eurovision. And, whatever you do, you've got to take it more seriously. If you want to win this, you've got to have a plan, and the record industry has to be a part of that. The BBC can't do it on its own.

How will you spend Saturday night?

I shall be blind drunk! I'll be drunk by two o'clock in the afternoon and then in the evening I won't have to worry…

No, literally, I have no idea what we're going to do. I don't particularly want to sit with the artist behind the camera waiting for the result. It looks too boring for me. Mike Stock can do that. I'll sit in the background dressed up as a fairy.

Pete Waterman was speaking to BBC News entertainment correspondent, Tim Masters.

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