She’s the American-born singer who secured the United Kingdom its last Eurovision victory back in 1997.

And in August Katrina Leskanich proved that she’s still got her winning fire when she performed at Manchester Pride as part of the Big Weekend.

The 57-year-old, who fronted Katrina & The Waves, reprised some of her greatest hits including “Walking on Sunshine” and her ESC track “Love Shine A Light.”

Speaking to wiwiblogger Deban ahead of her set, Katrina sounded off on all things Eurovision, including the UK’s most recent contestant Lucie Jones.

“She did a great job,” she said. “She’s a great girl and I thought she was brilliant.”

“It’s very, very difficult for the UK to do well. They’ve got to try a different tactic.”

What does she make of her own victory?

“We just got lucky. We had the right song at the right time and people seemed to like it. 1997 was a year for change — it was just time to win.”

“I suppose you didn’t really see it coming that this American from Topeka, Kansas would have any part in Eurovision. But I’m very proud to have done so.”

And she’s confident that the UK can win again — but only if they dream big and call upon their biggest stars.

“You need to get Simon Cowell or somebody like that involved, and get somebody like Adele or Chris Martin from Coldplay to do it to win it. It’s very competitive now. These Eastern European countries — they are all over it boy.”

“You need somebody with a huge international name. Andrew Lloyd Webber did really well with [Eurovision 2009 singer] Jade [Ewen]. They got 5th, which was incredible, and I thought it was a great song.”

Of course, the following year the United Kingdom came last with Josh Dubovie and songwriter Peter Waterman.

Katrina doesn’t hold back in assessing what went wrong there.

“The song wasn’t strong enough and the singer wasn’t either. It’s as simple as that. Other countries put forward their very best. If we put forward our very best then we wouldn’t have a problem winning it.”

Outside of music, Katrina is also an accomplished author, who released “Peggy Lee Loves London: My London Guide” back in 2013.

“I have a series of books called Metro Poodle,” she explains. “The first one is my London guide and these are fronted by my little poodle Peggy Lee.”

“It’s all my favourite places in London. Some are off the beaten track. Cafes, bars, coffee shops, parks — all the best stuff.”

She’s currently rebranding the series “Metro Poodle” and will release books on Cornwall and Ireland in the near future.

Are you still loving “Love Shine A Light”? Do you think that Katrina is right to say the UK needs Simon Cowell and Adele? Let us know in the comments box below!

Read more United Kingdom Eurovision news

16 Comments
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brunowskii
brunowskii
4 years ago

Just put the Spice Girls together again and it’s done. London 2019. Lol

Graph
Graph
4 years ago

If Simon Cowell got involved, I think the UK would become like Australia – consistent jury success, but still not getting enough televotes to win.

I’m not convinced that he understands the stylistic and cultural dynamics of ESC enough to know what will stand out from the competition and earn televotes.

Nevertheless, I think it is worthwhile to give him a try and see what he comes up with.

Hada
Hada
4 years ago

And Ireland should send U2, Belgium should send Stromae, and France should send Daft Pubk, and maybe someone could pay enough to have Beyoncé represent them, etc… Why not go all out and send The Rolling Stones next year?

That’s a lovely idea, but we need to keep our proportions. An established artist at their peak won’t go back to a song competition.

AngieP
AngieP
4 years ago

Simon Cowell could make things better. But having the biggest stars involved? I don’t think so. Neither Coldplay nor Adele would do Eurovision. Generally, the big stars are too big for this competition. Besides, if for example Adele participated with a good song, she would win and if the song wasn’t good, her reputation would be influenced by this. It depends on the artists and the song really. Remember what happened with Bonnie Tyler in 2013. Eurovision needs freshness, young talented singers. And the reason the Eastern European countries are doing well is not because they send a global superstar… Read more »

FIG
FIG
4 years ago

Bore off , love …

Denis
Denis
4 years ago

I’m all for Simon Cowell, he could well do it. But the problem is no huge stars would ever choose to participate, neither in UK, Sweden or anywhere else. They are already famous and huge, they don’t need ESC. Adele and Chris Martin have great careers with sold-out world tours. What do they need ESC for? On top of that, question is would people vote for them just because they are famous and have fan-bases? That in itself would be a huge disadvantage for other participants. And finally, what if they flop? The potential damage a flop would do to… Read more »

mad-professor
mad-professor
4 years ago

Go with Paloma Faith – she said she’d do Eurovision if she had control of everything and a good song.

go go go
go go go
4 years ago

I would love somebody from big5 to win, just to stop hearing them complaining. Just take it, and host it, and stop blaming politics.
But if UK will send a huge star….(maybe I’m wrong), but esc fans love to hate big stars. Say what you want about Salvador, but he had that image of unassuming person.
And the poodle Peggy Lee is a cutie.

mad-professor
mad-professor
4 years ago
Reply to  go go go

Germany won in 2010.

go go go
go go go
4 years ago
Reply to  mad-professor

I know, the only big5 country that ever won, since big5 exists.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
4 years ago
Reply to  go go go

With 40+ countries in the competition, the odds of a Big 5 country having the winning entry are pretty low. Italy did win the televote in 2015 by a landslide, we could consider that a victory for the Big 5 as well.

AngieP
AngieP
4 years ago
Reply to  mad-professor

Before 2010, the last time a BIG5 won was in 1997, with “Love shine a light” which is 20 years ago. BIG 5 countries try the last couple of years, especially Italy and France.

Marc
Marc
4 years ago
Reply to  go go go

We’ve had 2 wins this decade. Germany 2010 and Italy 2015.

adelefan
adelefan
4 years ago

The UK could win Eurovision every year, literally. The problem is that the important bands and singers don’t care about eurovision, they don’t need it for their careers. Adele could just sing Happy Birthday a capella and win with a record of points, LOL

Aria
Aria
4 years ago
Reply to  adelefan

But that song was released before September 2017