After months of silence, the BBC has finally revealed details of the UK’s first national final since 2010. It will take the form of a television programme called Eurovision: You Decide, featuring six acts and hosted by semi-final commentator Mel Giedroyc.

You Decide UK BBC 2016After speculation that the UK’s return to a national final might take the form of a red button event of web-based voting, the BBC has committed to a full television show.

Eurovision: You Decide will screen live on Friday 26 February. It will be broadcast on BBC Four, the new home of the UK semi-finals. It will be hosted at The Forum, a venue with a capacity of 2300.

The six shortlisted acts will perform their songs live, with feedback given by a professional panel of experts. In the official announcement, the panel’s role was described as giving “their thoughts on how the songs could be made to look and sound on stage in Stockholm.”

The show will be hosted by Mel Giedroyc, who co-hosts The Great British Bake-off. Mel is a Eurovision fan, and was previously a judge in the 2007 national final Making Your Mind UpLast year she joined Scott Mills in presenting the UK’s commentary of the semi-finals. Mel commented, “I am a huge fan of the Eurovish and am honoured to be hosting this fantastic event.”

You Decide will also feature musical guest performance. Details of these will be confirmed this Friday 22 January on the Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2.

The six shortlisted songs came to the competition through three different paths. OGAE UK shortlisted songs submitted by the public; the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) ran a competition, with at least one song coming from there; and music consultant Hugh Goldsmith directly liaised with labels and management to secure the involvement of established acts.

The filming of Eurovision: You Decide will be open to the public, with tickets going on sale on Friday 22 January at 10am via the BBC.

What do you think of You Decide? Will the UK get its Eurovision mojo back? Share your thoughts below.

Follow all of our UK Eurovision news here

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Callum
Callum
5 years ago

This is pretty much the most perfect thing ever. I think this is a format to be developed over the course of the next few years (yeah, I wouldn’t expect top 5 straight away, guys). The show is not just a national selection, but also a bit of light entertainment. There’s a familiar face hosting (hopefully some GBBO fans will follow Mel over to the Eurovision world), an expert panel (so familiar faces to (dis)agree with), a little segment about what it takes to win Eurovision and 6 – hopefully – solid songs. I wouldn’t expect it to be a… Read more »

Laburnum
Laburnum
5 years ago

@DR: When you put it like that it made so much more sense.

Fatima
Fatima
5 years ago

Robyn says: “The biggest thing that needs to change is the attitude, toning down the ’80s view of Eurovision as being a cheesy, crazy, camp fest, and primarily delivering some quality pop that the UK can be proud of.”
Yes – step 1, replace Scott Mills

Fatima
Fatima
5 years ago

I agree with you DR. I’m a lifelong UK Eurovision fan but I think the UK (or at least the BBC) should withdraw from the contest if we get another poor result as well as the usual tiresome sneering from every facet of the BBC apart from their ESC office.

AndersP
AndersP
5 years ago

One thing to remember about the 60th Anniversary celebration last year is it got TERRIBLE ratings on BBC One (off the top of my head, it was only 1 million or so). If BBC Four got the same 1 million viewers, it would be considered a triumph.

I hope they put the songs online before the final, given how increasingly important YouTube is to the contest and the selection season. It’s not just about the Saturday night any more.

Hollandique
5 years ago

PS: the UK selection will take place in one of the biggest weekends for national selections this year (check the dates)

AberSam
AberSam
5 years ago

I dont see anything wrong with this, and seeing as though we’ve all been expecting BBC 3 to be taken off air since last year it’s good to actually know that the Semis are moving to another channel rather than the internet with BBC3. BBC 4 is a perfectly competent with good programmes and the spirit of Eurovision fits perfectly with it.
Let’s just hope that they’ve got good acts for it this year.

fikri
fikri
5 years ago

the logistical efforts by BBC this time is INSANE. i really hope it pays off this time.

sarah
sarah
5 years ago

good slash bad the uk cant be trusted with a big melfest style contest simples its a good start

ian from the philippines

there’s a diffrence between “won’t” and “can’t”

adrianauk
adrianauk
5 years ago

Good for Wiwibloggs ,that they came first with the anouncement …..Why i have the felleng that nothing it would come good…?But one credit to United Kingdom,is that they dont want to send known singers and thats the whole United KIngdom wants.

mawnck
mawnck
5 years ago

“the calls for withdrawal which has been going on for years will get too loud to ignore”

Pish tosh. They’ll ignore them until the sun burns out. The economics are just too good for the BBC.

If the ratings started sliding, then that would be a different matter. But after the last 13 years, with all that has happened – over and over and over – what do you think they could POSSIBLY do that would cause the ratings to slide?

ian from the philippines

there are tree reason why the bbc choose bbc4 and reused the 50th anniversary logo : money! money! money! #abba

it would be nice for for it to be on BBC three but it’s going online in feb (meaning it would die a slow painful death)

BBC 2 can’t take it because most of the good shows from BBC three are going there.

plus i think BBC 4 has some extra cash lying somewhere

Denis
Denis
5 years ago

Who cares about the channel? Those who are interested will watch it either way, and those who don’t like it will avoid it even if it aired on a bigger channel. Bigger channel doesn’t necessarily mean bigger ratings.The final airs on BBC One, and the ratings are still struggling to find that big mega audience as those in Sweden, Russia or the Netherlands, as I understand it. BBC Four might be small but the semi-finals aren’t broad enough to be on One or Two, so this way they can focus on the fans who will watch it regardless and ensure… Read more »

DR
DR
5 years ago

@Laburnum Your BS detected must be malfunctioned. I don’t think the BBC should withdraw … Yet. If the BBC is successful with this awkward Friday night small affair, then I will say they shouldn’t withdraw. But if it doesn’t do well. There is two options left. Over the past 8 years they’ve tried almost all combinations of internal and national selection. The two left are withdrawal. Or a massive branding and organisational overhall where they work with our world class artist to overcome their preconceptions of the contest and support them afterwards in order to get our biggest names to… Read more »

Criticca
Criticca
5 years ago

And yes I hope they use this national finals to trial the stagings of the song entries. Hopefully there will be some feedback and this will help the UK team towards preparing for Eurovision.

Fatima
Fatima
5 years ago

mad-professor, there’s no reason why a Radio 1-friendly song could not succeed at the Eurovision Song Contest. Loïc Nottet just proved that. Sadly the reverse is not true, because the Eurovision connection would get it excluded by playlisters who wouldn’t even bother to hear the song. DR is perfectly right, the BBC need to stop such prejudice and get Radio 1 to support the contest.

Criticca
Criticca
5 years ago

Finally!! but why only 6? we need more rounds so that we can see some growth in the performances and stagings. If BBC can’t afford a Melodifestivalen-style show why not look at how Lithuania did it last year? It was small but pretty efficient and effective. I was expecting at least 10 acts tbh….

Padraig Muldoon
Admin
5 years ago

People watch BBC 4 when it shows stuff people want to watch. The Bridge, Borgen, the Killing and other shows have all topped the multi-channel ratings when broadcast on BBC 4. The same should apply in this case. Also, it’s a huge step-up from the wretched red button which isn’t even available with all tv providers.

AndersP
AndersP
5 years ago

I’m not at all bothered by the final being on BBC Four. The channel has very high quality programming, regularly shows great music documentaries, and doesn’t make anything “tacky”. It’s important this isn’t a repeat of the Pete Waterman/Josh Dubovie Eurovision final which was a TV disaster.

Steven
Steven
5 years ago

Leah McFall pls

Calum Macleod
Calum Macleod
5 years ago

Things are looking up for the UK! I’m really hoping that we can get a powerful song in that list of six and get a good performance from it!

mawnck
mawnck
5 years ago

I’m SO cynical about Eurovision/UK that all I can think about is the dozens of ways this can still turn out to be a train wreck. But there’s really nothing here I can quibble about, other than the skimpy selection of songs. (Not that many reputable entries, eh?) All the talk about BBC4 has me wondering if UK viewers know that most TVs have this clever little device that changes the channel to the program you want to watch? Come on, people, don’t be so silly. The “usual” BBC4 viewership has nothing to do with this. (I suspect many of… Read more »

faye
faye
5 years ago

I’m actually really glad its on bbc4, means audience less likely to be made up of people who think its a joke + more with people who actually want the uk to do musically well especially as Bbc4 is the ‘cultural channel’. + they actually made a really nice non pisstake documentary on esc last year. I’m guessing funding came alot into this aswell, bbc4 has a budget for more ‘art projects’ & regularly show dancing, art and music shows/comps/awards so this might have been the only way the bbc could even fund a tv final. Maybe it would have… Read more »

Laburnum
Laburnum
5 years ago

@DR: About a month ago, everyone was doubting the possibility of a televised event by the BBC. Now here we are, with what sounds like a decent selection of possible entries, and you are making a fuss over a channel? And seriously, you lost so much faith in the BBC that you fell the UK could withdraw from the contest? My BS detecter just burst.

Roger
Roger
5 years ago

This is the only thing that worries me >>In the official announcement, the panel’s role was described as giving “their thoughts on how the songs could be made to look and sound on stage in Stockholm.”<< for two reasons 1. possibly cheap production. If the artists does not have backing from a record company that pays for proper staging… the wrong song might win. 2. not voting for the final performance, i.e. not doing anything about UKs biggest problem. Then there are some areas not mentioned. Will they they try to keep everything secret until the show or reveal the… Read more »

DR
DR
5 years ago

@mad-professor I understand the viewers are different, but not as much as you think. The viewers are more BBC three, which is closer to radio 1 that radio 2. If the ESC is more suited for BBC 4, why did it not get put their back in 2004. BBC 4 is more famous for celebrating past music, not current modern music, which most Brits and Europeans are crying out for us to send. The only way that is going to happen is by tapping into radio 1 and rebranding the ESC in the UK. But there is so many people… Read more »

DR
DR
5 years ago

@Edwin I don’t think it’s about to be leaked. The reason I have a problem with it is most announcements happen during weekdays in order to get the most publicity, especially doing it in the morning to get the most effect as it has the whole day to build up. Doing it on a Sunday evening feels like they are trying to hide it, as most people won’t check news feed until tomorrow morning. Only ESC fans will see it tonight. @Laburnum If the UK does have a great artist and song by March, I will concede. But the reason… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
5 years ago

@Hollandique: Years and Years would have little to lose by signing up, because they are still relatively new in the eyes and ears of some. Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan (the original Sugababes) could make for an interesting result, with the right song. They’re has-beens, but they’re still quite young.

Gav
Gav
5 years ago

I really want 6 fantastic songs and a decent entry and then the only way is up. Things are moving in the right direction but I really think it comes down to the songs and artists. I hope we get a sense of the picking process too and why the artists and songs come to light.

The jury sounds interesting if they comment on how it could be staged.

Hippo
Hippo
5 years ago

I do think being on BBC 4 is not only a problem in itself but it is symbolic of how the BBC sees the competition. Putting it on BBC 1 would have sent out the message “this is good, this is worth watching, this is important ” but relegating it down does suggest it won’t be that good, and again it will just be those already interested who will seek it out. I have said that this year would be better but I am starting to get worried that the song will be average and completely forgettable. Things can’t get… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
5 years ago

@Racal: Given the recent abject futility of the U.K.’s efforts at ESC, none of those people you mention would even DARE risk their reputations by signing up for ESC to represent the U.K.

Hollandique
5 years ago

Acts I’m expecting to see: BBC Sound of 2016 acts / BBC Introducing acts / Years and Years / Louisa Johnson or Reggie n Bollie from X Factor / Calum Scott from BGT / past acts (ie: Samantha Mumba, Sugababes). I expect to see acts from the UK, not just England.

Rob
Rob
5 years ago

Yes not a lot of people watch BBC4 as much as BBC1. But hopefully this’ll mean that Eurovision fans and people with some decent interest in the contest will watch the national final, meaning voters will actually be credible. Unlike some people voting lots for a joke act, which I doubt we have one anyway judging from what the BBC have said about its sources of selection. With these acts performing to a capacity of potentially 2300, I don’t think the BBC have chosen acts that will be booed or get a lukewarm response. I also think performing in a… Read more »

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
5 years ago

ONLY SIX?? They couldn’t spare any airtime for 10? At least give the people enough of a variety to make a clear decision as to which contender to send to Stockholm.

VojaZ
5 years ago

My biggest wish: CHERYL ON EUROVISION! Greetings from Serbia!

davve
davve
5 years ago

As I am not British could someone tell me what the problem with BBC 4 is? Is it a small channel that doesnt have many viewers or what?

mad-professor
mad-professor
5 years ago

@DR “This is the final straw. The BBC has no faith in the contest. They had to do a national selection after the public outcry after Electro Velvet, but they’ve hid it on the TV equivalent of BBC Radio 2. The Contest is seen as a modern music competition in Europe, yet the BBC still think the contest is anachronistic like in the past. They need to start using Radio 1 and their resources. They’ve re used the ESC 60th Concert logo, and hidden the press announcement on a Sunday evening. Could they do anything else to show they don’t… Read more »

EF0912
EF0912
5 years ago

I’m not sure about relegating the semis to BBC 4 (literally no one from around here watches it). But it would improve the overall quality of the nf as its not really trash tv

Racal
Racal
5 years ago

The UK would win it easily, if only they wanted. They have the best music industry in the world and they produce dozens of hit makers: Adele, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, One Direction, Artic Monkeys, Kaiser Chiefs, etc., etc.

Edwin
Edwin
5 years ago

@DR, I believe it’s probably gone out tonight because it was leaked. It’s probably meant to be in the papers tomorrow. There’s no real big way to announce that a national final is going to take place so I don’t know what you’re expecting.

James
James
5 years ago

If the Uk does well this year I think in 2017 a national final will take place on bbc one and may have more than just on show as BBC one need a new TV show to replace the voice that moving to ITV, so I just hope it goes well this year.

Fred
Fred
5 years ago

I have a really bad feeling about this. It’s great that we have a say in the UK entry again. But, I have a gut feeling that the 6 acts won’t be very good, quite like the 2010 selection. Also, the fact that the national final will be broadcast on BBC 4 makes me think that we’ll be picking from 6 complete amateurs. If the artists were even slightly known, surely it would be broadcast on BBC 1 or 2 as more people would watch it.

Laburnum
Laburnum
5 years ago

I would love it if the UK gets the most amazing entry ever so all the people complaining can SHUT THE HELL UP!!

Freyah
Freyah
5 years ago

I’m glad we’re having a selection, being from the UK. However nobody watches BBC 4.The least they could do to be honest is BBC3, though if the BBC really wanted it’d go on BBC One.

Good that Mel is on it though. She was great for the semi commentary last year, and hopefully if the selection goes well and has a good payoff at Eurovision it’ll get bumped up a bit more next year.

DR
DR
5 years ago

This is the final straw. The BBC has no faith in the contest. They had to do a national selection after the public outcry after Electro Velvet, but they’ve hid it on the TV equivalent of BBC Radio 2. The Contest is seen as a modern music competition in Europe, yet the BBC still think the contest is anachronistic like in the past. They need to start using Radio 1 and their resources. They’ve re used the ESC 60th Concert logo, and hidden the press announcement on a Sunday evening. Could they do anything else to show they don’t care?… Read more »

Edwin
Edwin
5 years ago

Does it really matter if no one watches BBC Four? If anyone’s interested in it, it’s on their TV guide not far from BBC One. The people who want to watch it will watch it, the people who don’t won’t. That’s how TV works. I can’t believe people are overlooking how professional this selection process has been just because of the channel. They have to start small to demonstrate that there is interest and what will actually work. If it performs in line with BBC Four’s usual viewing figures, they’ll probably keep it there and perhaps expand it to more… Read more »

Mark W
Mark W
5 years ago

This is definitely a step in the right direction! I just wish I could go see the live show 🙁

davve
davve
5 years ago

Oh no.. I see a national final with Mel joking around.. and the panel making sure that a non contemporary boring song wins ahead of a more appropriate eurovision song.. Just my thought on it.

Lewis
Lewis
5 years ago

Looks like Mel will be back as commentator then.