“I’m fully qualified!” Punk legend John Lydon teases Irish Eurovision involvement


He’s the punk icon who once sang of “Anarchy in the UK”. But could John Lydon — né Johnny Rotten — be about to cause a ruckus at Eurovision for Ireland? An Irish radio DJ asked the punk provocateur if rumours of Eurovision participation were true… and he didn’t deny it.

John Lydon was a guest on The Paul McLoone Show on Irish radio station Today FM. McLoone took the opportunity to ask the former Sex Pistols’ frontman about a supposed rumour of Eurovision involvement.

He asked, “There’s rumours floating around that you’re in line to step in and provide Ireland with its next Eurovision winner. That can’t be true, right?”

Lydon gave a hearty chuckle and replied, “As rumours go, that’s a beaut!” But curiously enough, he didn’t deny it.

The punk legend elaborated. “Nothing’s been signed. Just like the Bible, Jesus has yet to put His signature to it. So it’s a rumour. But as rumours go, I’m fully qualified, aren’t I, as an American-English-Irishman. Perfect! Well travelled, well seasoned, up and at it, ready.”

Under the nom de punk Johnny Rotten, Lydon was the snarling frontman of the iconic punk group Sex Pistols in the mid 1970s. Even though the band initially only lasted two and a half years before self-destructing, they forged a path that changed popular music.

Lydon went on to form the post-punk group Public Image Ltd (PiL), and has since played with the reformed Sex Pistols. He is widely regarded for his musical legacy.

Eurovision has not seen a lot of punk music. The most high-profile punk entry came in 2015 when crusty punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät won Finland’s national selection UMK with the 86-second noisy punk explosion “Aina mun pitää”.

At Eurovision, it placed last in its semi-final with a very punk 13 points.

Irish broadcaster RTÉ is using internal selection to pick its entry for Lisbon. The broadcaster earlier held an open song submission process.

At the time, Ireland’s head of delegation Michael Kealy told media, “We’re looking for a killer song performed by an act with vast experience of playing live to big crowds.”

And as it happens, John Lydon has over 40 years experience doing just that.

What do you think? Should Ireland send John Lydon to Eurovision? Can the song contest handle a punk legend? Share your thoughts below!