By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor
Eurovision Song Contest selection show You Decide has undergone a format change ahead of next year’s competition, the BBC has announced.
The BBC Two programme, which usually sees six acts performing six different songs, will instead have three songs up for deliberation, by six artists.
Each of the songs – whittled down from hundreds submitted by the public – will be performed in musically different ways by two acts, and there will be a round of what the BBC is calling “song-offs”.
The three songs in the running to become the UK’s Eurovision entry have been selected with the help of an international jury.
The UK public will have the chance to vote for which song and which act will represent the country in the grand final of the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Presenter Mel Giedroyc and Swedish pop star Mans Zelmerlow will host the TV show live from its new location, MediaCity UK in Salford.
Kate Phillips, controller of entertainment commissioning at the BBC, said: “Forget about a sing-off, next year it’s all about the song-off as we once again try to marry a great singer with a great song, one which could finally get us on the left hand side of the leader board.
“We may be leaving the EU, but we are still determined to win Eurovision again one day!”
Mel Balac, creative director for entertainment BBC Studios and executive producer of Eurovision: You Decide, said: “Our exciting ‘euro-version’ format will give fans the chance to compare and contrast these fantastic songs in a fresh, new way and deliver the United Kingdom the artist it deserves to fly the flag out in Tel Aviv in May.”
Eurovision: You Decide will be broadcast in February.