Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

UK’s Eurovision entry Michael Rice predicts contest could replace X Factor

The UK’s Eurovision pick Michael Rice (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)
The UK’s Eurovision pick Michael Rice (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

The United Kingdom’s entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest has said it could make a comeback and replace X Factor in the public’s hearts and minds.

Michael Rice described this year’s show as a “turning point”, adding that he hoped it could be the antidote to Brexit despite the UK not winning in 22 years or entering the top 10 in a decade.

The 21-year-old, from Hartlepool, County Durham, rose to fame after winning the singing show All Together Now last year.

He predicted Eurovision could fill the void left by X Factor. The ITV show has been hit by falling ratings and Simon Cowell is planning a revamp, said to include an all-star edition with former contestants.

Rice said: “This year is going to be the turning point for the UK.

“With Brexit and everything that is going on, we need to focus on the song and the UK really getting behind the Eurovision artist. It’s the biggest competition in the world.

“Especially now X Factor is not coming back, this is the only show that can involve song-writing and musicians.

Eurovision Song Contest
Michael Rice won the public vote to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel (Guy Levy/BBC/PA)

“It can get really good songs in the next few years. And get Eurovision back at the top.

“Everyone is going on about this Brexit. I’m only 21, so I don’t know anything about politics. It’s not about politics. It’s about having the right song.”

Rice successfully made his way through the new selection process for British acts, winning the public vote on the BBC’s Eurovision: You Decide programme and the right to compete in Tel Aviv in May.

He also admitted to being starstruck after discovering The Only Way Is Essex star Megan McKenna is a fan.

Pride Of Britain Awards 2018 – London
Rice said he was starstruck after finding out Megan McKenna is a fan (Steve Parsons/PA)

He said: “Megan McKenna follows me, and Sam Daly. Some really big people follow me, so it’s really nice.

“I’ve been working on loads of new music and to find out about Megan McKenna being a fan. I’m a big fan of Megan McKenna’s own music – the country music she does.

“It’s just crazy that people are following me. I’ve never reached out to her (to collaborate) because she’s a celebrity she’s not going to (reply). Even though she follows me she’s not going to know who I am. So I’ve never reached out to her.

“She probably won’t even see my message with all the messages she gets.”

Rice has also taken advice from last year’s pick, SuRie, whose performance was interrupted by a stage invader who snatched the microphone during her performance of the song Storm.

“She’s given me loads of advice about the lead-up to Eurovision,” he said.

“How mad it’s going to be in Tel Aviv, the press and fans. She wanted to make sure I’m ready and in the zone.”

The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is due to be held in Israel between May 14 and 18 after the 2018 contest was won by Israel entry Netta with her song Toy.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]