Eurovision 2016: The biggest music extravaganza on the planet returns
The biggest music extravaganza on the planet returns this May as the Eurovision Song Contest, one of the longest-running and most-watched non-sporting events in the world, is broadcast live from Stockholm.
The Swedish capital will play host to the competition for the second time in history following Måns Zelmerlöw’s victory in Vienna last year when he won the 60th contest with his song Heroes.
This year marks the 61st edition of the competition, with a total of 42 countries competing in the contest, including two semi-finals that will be broadcast on BBC Four, and the grand final, which will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC Radio 2. A jury final will also take place on Friday 13 May, however this event is not televised.
As one of the 'Big Five' countries (United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, France, Italy), the United Kingdom does not have to qualify from the semi-final stage of the competition and will gain automatic access to the Saturday grand final. Sweden, as the incumbent champion, will also not need to qualify from the semi-final stage.
In order to find a song to represent the United Kingdom this year the BBC undertook its biggest song search ever, working with a number of partners and providing as many routes into the selection process as possible, whether amateur or professional.
Songs were sourced via a number of places - an open submission process, via the UK branch of the OGAE (Eurovision fan site) , the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and by working alongside music industry expert Hugh Goldsmith - former MD of RCA and founder of Innocent Records - who is acting as Music Consultant to the BBC. All of these routes resulted in a national televised final where six final shortlisted acts performed in front of a live audience in London.
Joe and Jake won the public vote and were therefore chosen to represent the United Kingdom as winners of Eurovision: You Decide.
Visit bbc.co.uk/eurovision to listen to all 42 artists taking part, download a Eurovision sweepstake kit and live show scorecards too.