May 18 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Racism is to blame for a string of Eurovision flops for Britain, according to musical maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The man behind an array of famous stage musicals said that attitudes in some eastern European countries influence voting decision against Britain.
Lloyd Webber, 64, was speaking after yet another pasting for the UK at this year’s contest, where Engelbert Humperdinck finished second bottom.
“I don’t think there’s any point beating around the bush,” rapped Lloyd Webber.
“I’ll put it to you by asking you a question. ‘Did you see the Eurovision Song Contest this year?
“If you had seen it, you might have noticed one thing - I don’t think there was one black face on the programme.
He said: “At the press conference in Moscow (in 2009), I was asked, ‘Why have you brought a black artist?’
“I said, ‘Because she is the most talented artist that we had and I think she’s a major, major star.’ I think we would have come second but there’s a problem when you go further east...”
Pressed to clarify his claim that racism was why UK flopped in the interview, Humberdinck told the Radio Times: “Well, it doesn’t mean that we would necessarily have won that year but we could have come second
“If you’re talking about Western Europe - Germany, fine; France, fine; Spain, fine; Greece, fine; Scandinavian countries, fine. But Ukraine? Not so good.”
It was unclear if Lloyd Webber thinks voting habits are due to attitudes to Britain in general or to black British in particular.
A string of non-black contestents for Britain have been spurned by voters - including Humbledinck.
The quality of the UK offering to Eurovision over the years was not cited for consideration either.
A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC is committed to Eurovision and has no evidence whatsoever of any racism around the event.”