United Kingdom | New Head of Delegation for Tel Aviv?
At the start of the year, it was confirmed that one half of United Kingdom's head of delegation, Guy Freeman, was leaving his Eurovision role. Guy, who was the head of delegation when the UK last won in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves, returned to the BBC in 2014 and oversaw an experimental phase for national selections over the past couple of years - ranging from internal selections of song submissions and utilisation of BBC Music Introducing to national selection format 'Eurovision: You Decide' which will once again be used for the 2019 selection process. In his wake, Helen Riddell, who has also been co-head of delegation since 2014, became the sole project manager in charge of the role. However from postings on Helen's social media - Facebook and LinkedIn - it would appear that as of September 2018 she has parted ways with the BBC.
Whilst the BBC have not officially released a statement as to whether the reports are true, speculation has definitely already begun over who could potentially be replacing Helen if she has indeed stepped down from her position. This would not be the only change in Head of Delegation ahead of next year - as French Head of Delegation Edoardo Grassi has also recently confirmed that he will be stepping down this year. Edoardo did a great job of changing France's fortunes at Eurovision when he came on board in 2016. Following four years of bottom 5 placements between 2012 and 2015, Edoardo overturned the selection process and the result has been seeing France on the left hand side of the scoreboard for the past three years in a row - even reaching 6th place in 2016 with Amir and his song 'J'ai cherche'.
Could the BBC be looking to bring in somebody similar to Grassi, who would be in a position to potentially renovate the way that the United Kingdom chooses its Eurovision representative. The BBC's plans for 2019 are well under way with the public song submission deadline coming up this Friday - 26th October 2018. In addition to public submissions, there have been numerous writing camps over the past couple of months which have seen both Eurovision veterans and fresh faces songwriting for potential entries. National Final 'Eurovision: You Decide' has also been confirmed to be returning to BBC2 early next year with rumours mounting that the show will take place in Media City, Salford for the first time.
We are very excited to see how this develops. Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram & subscribe to us on YouTube to keep up to date with all Eurovision news!