Justin Lee Collins
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Tiger Aspects Press Release: "This two part documentary for FIVE will follow Justin Lee Collins in his bid to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest. Justin has been a fan of Eurovision all his life and wants to find a country that will adopt him and allow him to represent them in Oslo 2010. The Eurovision Song Contest allows each country's delegation to come up with their local rules. Some countries ask their biggest stars behind closed doors, some countries do a search for a star competition. It's a long road, but Justin is willing to do whatever it takes to find a country and go through the Eurovision delegate's rules to be involved. If it's a TV competition where the nation chose their representative, Justin will be there. If they announce that it's a closed competition Justin is back to square one.
It would be too straight forward for Justin to represent the UK, and they might not want him, so we're following him on a journey to find a country that will take him under their wing. This is a serious venture; so far we've been knocked back by a lot of countries because their local rules don't allow foreigners. He has a great voice and is genuinely trying to take part for Ireland. Now we're crossing our fingers and waiting for the Irish delegate's announcement on Wednesday 9th December for their Eurovision rules, if foreigners are able to take part, Justin's bid to represent Ireland will begin. He has already spoken to Ronan Keating who has agreed to write a song for him, so it could be about to get very exciting".
Justin moved from comedy into TV presenting and from 2003 - 2005 he hosted his own radio show on XFM. Justin went on to present The Friday Night Project and The Sunday Night Project with Alan Carr for Channel 4. He has interviewed celebrities such Gordon Ramsay, Christian Slater, Rob Lowe, Girls Aloud, Jamie Oliver, Davis Tennant, Ashley Jensen (Ugly Betty, Extras). Justin hosted the channel 4 show Bring Back. reuniting the cast from famous shows or films such as Dallas, Star Wars and Fame. The Convention Crasher was a show in which Justin learned skills such as clowning and ventriloquism in an attempt to win prizes at professional conventions.The Justin Lee Collins Show aired on ITV 2 in May 2009. He interviewed Whoopi Goldberg, Boyzone, Davina McCall, David Tennant, Mark Ronson and Billie Piper. His book Good Times was released by Ebury in September 2009. Justin has recorded an album which consists of 5 original tracks and 7 covers, for Universal Music entitled Another Side, which will be released in the spring 2010.
So why do you want to get involved with Eurovision?
I am a huge fan and I love to sing and it's the biggest singing competition in the world and it's a challenge. I love to sing and I have been a huge fan of it and it's the biggest singing challenge there is so that's inspiration enough for me.
Did you have dreams of becoming a professional singer when you were a child?
I never entertained the idea of being a professional singer. I have co-incidently recorded an album which was due out at Christmas but I don't have time to promote it so it won't be out till the New Year.
Why did you decide to get Ronan Keating on Board?
Ronan is a great friend of mine and I admire him greatly so I called him about a week ago and asked him if I get the nod to be able to perform for Ireland would he write the song and he agreed. That made my day.
I am trying other countries in Europe. We ruled out the UK. I want a good chance of winning and I think it's more interesting to enter for a foreign nation. Obviously if I represented the UK then what's that? The UK people know who I am. I think the audience who know me in the UK might not be able to take it and they may think it is a joke. I think it's best to come at it from a different angle.
Ireland has won 7 times. You are always looking for angles and to represent the nation that has the most wins would be wonderful.
Will you be picking a song you like - or will you be picking a song that you think will win?
It's strange on the one hand people want you to take it seriously and on the other hand people sent in acts like a Turkey or Lordy. It would be lovely to perform a song I believe in. I also want a song that has a great chance of winning. To perform a song penned by Ronan is amazing - I will sing what ever that man writes as I think he is a brilliant songwriter.
What are your memories of Eurovision?
My earliest memory is when Bucks Fizz winning in 1981 - I was 6 at the time. I remember the skirts being ripped off. I have watched it every year since I was a child to this day. I might have only missed it once when I had to work.
I also remember Dana International, Katrina and The Waves, and my favourite of all time is when France won in 1993.
When will you find out if you have been successful?
For Ireland hopefully by the end of the week. I have just been in Estonia, Andorra (although they think they aren't going to enter) it's different for every country.
Do you think it's political in the voting system?
All of that goes on and it would be great to compete and see it from the other side. Although talking to fans and those involved and they say they have tried to address those issues over the years and that that is getting better.
You're a man of many talents; you were a comic, presenter, author and now Eurovision hopeful - any other career ambitions?
No - Eurovision is like the final box that will be ticked. I have just signed with Channel Five in the UK and I have a chat show coming out and a game show so I am pretty busy. This project is something that I have been trying to do for the last 3 years. Hopefully my dream will come true.