Andrew Lloyd-Webber blames Eurovision failures on 'racist' Eastern Europe
Adam Sherwin is Media Correspondent at The Independent and an award-winning writer who specialises in covering the entertainment, broadcasting, music and popular culture industries. Previously Media writer and diarist at The Times, he was a co-founder of the Beehive City media and entertainment website. As regular contributor to BBC London 94.9 Radio station, he was named Music Business writer of the year at the awards of influential music industry site Record of the Day in 2006.
Tuesday 03 July 2012
Racism is so prevalent in some Eastern European countries that a black singer could not hope to win the Eurovision Song Contest, Andrew Lloyd-Webber has claimed.
The composer told the Radio Times that the UK's recent disastrous showings could not be attributed to poor musical performances alone.
"I don't think there's any point beating around the bush," Lord Lloyd-Webber said. "Did you see the Eurovision Song Contest this year? Well, if you had seen it, you might have noticed one thing – I don't think there was one black face on the programme."
Lord Lloyd-Webber led a nationwide search for the UK's 2009 Eurovision entry and co-wrote the song, which was performed by Jade Ewen, a black singer from London. The host country was Russia and Ewen finished a creditable fifth.
The peer said: "At the press conference in Moscow, I was asked: 'Why have you brought a black artist?'
"I said, 'Because she is the most talented artist that we had and I think she's a major, major star'. I think we would have come second but there's a problem when you go further east."
Was he saying that racism is the reason why the UK didn't win?
"Well, it doesn't mean that we would necessarily have won that year but we could have come second," he said.
"If you're talking about Western Europe – Germany, fine; France, fine; Spain, fine; Greece, fine; Scandinavian countries, fine. But Ukraine? Not so good."
A BBC spokesperson said: "The BBC is committed to Eurovision and has no evidence whatsoever of any racism around the event."
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
These Harry Potter lipsticks are sparking all sorts of controversy with Hogwarts fans
Game of Thrones season 6: Director promises most exciting premiere yet 'starts off with a bang'
Hunted: Channel 4 to test 'surveillance Britain' by taking Big Brother to sinister new lengths
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs