The UK will have a national final in 2016, with the public picking a winner from an “X-Factor style search”, according to the man drafted in to breathe new life in to the UK at Eurovision, Hugh Goldsmith.

Seeking a first victory since 1997, the UK will invite an open selection for entries as they did in 2015, but those whose original tracks are short-listed by a BBC-appointed panel will take part in a National Final, rather than be subjected to internal selection. No specific information about the structure of the national final process has been confirmed.

The BBC’s statement suggests they are looking for an ‘up and coming’ act rather than to attract established artists and well known faces, past or present.

Hugh Goldsmith has production credits for the likes of Atomic Kitten, Natalie Imbruglia and Blue but has been relatively absent from the UK charts this decade.

THe BBC’s Guy Freeman claims that 2016 “really will be the biggest song search for Eurovision the BBC has ever undertaken.

“With input from key industry figures and fan associations, plus with the public having the final say we are looking forward to seeing a true People’s Eurovision entry representing the UK at next year’s competition in Sweden.”

Eurofans and the UK public will have to wait and see just who turn out to be the “key industry figures” and “fan associations” and the nature of their input, and the level of public versus panel control in the selection procedure.

What advice would Eurofans have for the BBC? Our Matteo ponders this question in an editorial you can see on escXtra tomorrow.

Chief Editor: A non-schlager Europhile who's been doing this ESC writing malarkey since 2008, usually championing Eurovision's alternative or quirky offerings. My role at Xtra isn't too dissimilar from my previous life as a school teacher, but they're a well behaved class. Also responsible for dropping bum notes on a piano.

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