On Saturday 13 May Lucie Jones, who most recently appeared at the St James Theatre in Rent, will represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017, the 62nd edition of the camp spectacular. A number of West End stars have attempted to bring home the trophy for the UK, so we’ve picked a few of our favourites.
Lucie Jones – Never Give Up On You (2017)
Rent’s Lucie Jones will be flying the flag for the UK at this year’s contest in Kiev after she won the BBC’s Eurovision: You Decide. Rising to fame on The X Factor, Lucie has gone on to appear in a number of productions including Les Misérables, American Psycho, as well as the UK tours of Legally Blonde, Ghost The Musical and Rent. “Never Give Up On You” has some serious pedigree as one of the co-writers is former Eurovision winner Emmelie de Forest (Denmark, 2013).
Blue – I Can (2011)
The members of Blue have amassed some impressive stage credits including Legally Blonde, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Blood Brothers and The Three Little Pigs but took a break from treading the boards to reform for the 2011 contest in Düsseldorf. The song, which was written by group members Duncan James and Lee Ryan, finished 11th with 100 points.
Jade Ewen – It’s My Time (2009)
After a string of poor results, the UK called in the songwriting services of the legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber for the 2009 contest in Moscow. Performed by Jade Ewen, who is currently appearing as Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin, “It’s My Time” resulted in the country’s highest points since 1997 and finished in 5th place.
Scooch – Flying The Flag (For You) (2007)
The UK had a bumpy ride at the 2007 contest with Scooch’s “Flying The Flag (For You)” finishing second to last with 19 points. Before and after the contest the band’s members had performed in a number of theatrical productions to much greater acclaim with their credits including Starlight Express at the Apollo Victoria Theatre and Tommy at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
Javine – Touch My Fire (2005)
Javine beat out Gina G, Andy Scott-Lee, the group Tricolore, and Katie Price to be named the UK’s entry in 2015. She performed “Touch My Fire” at the 2005 contest in Kiev and finished 22nd. In 2006 Javine appeared in Daddy Cool, the musical based on the works of Boney M.
Frances Ruffelle – Lonely Symphony (We Will Be Free) (1994)
Tony Award winner Frances Ruffelle was the country’s entrant in 1994, performing “Lonely Symphony (We will be Free)”. The song received 63 points and placed 10th but the contest is perhaps most famous for its interval performance – the first ever performance of Michael Flatley’s Riverdance. Frances Ruffelle was most recently seen in The Wild Party, the first production at The Other Palace.
Sonia – Better The Devil You Know (1993)
For the second year in a row, the UK came 2nd in the contest to Eurovision powerhouse Ireland. Performed by Sonia, “Better The Devil You Know” received 164 points. The following year Sonia starred as Sandy in the revival of Grease and in 1997 appeared in What A Feeling! alongside Luke Goss (Bros) and Sinitta.
Michael Ball – One Step Out Of Time (1992)
Two-time Olivier Award winner Michael Ball represented the UK at the 1992 contest in Sweden. The favourite heading into the competition, Michael finished 2nd with 139 points, pipped to the post by Ireland. Since then, Michael has hosted the Olivier Awards three times and most recently appeared in Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of Mack And Mabel.
Samantha Womack – A Message To Your Heart (1991)
Samantha Womack, née Janus, represented the UK in 1991 with “A Message To Your Heart” – a heartfelt plea (albeit in the form of a pop song) to tackle world hunger. The song was written and composed by Paul Curtis and finished in 10th place with a very respectable 47 points. Samantha’s stage credits include Guys And Dolls, South Pacific and she is currently starring in The Addams Family which is on tour across the country.