UK to compete at Junior Eurovision for first time since 2005

A process to select an act and song is now under way.

The UK will compete in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for the first time since 2005, the BBC has announced.

The broadcaster will also air the singing contest, for children aged between nine and 14, for the first time in its history.

Armenia will host the event on December 11 following their win in 2021.

A process to select an act and song in the UK is now under way, being led by CBBC with BBC Studios entertainment and music.

Patricia Hidalgo, director of BBC Children’s and Education, said: “We are beyond excited to bring the Junior Eurovision Song Contest to the BBC for the first time, and to showcase the diverse young musical talent from across Europe for children and their families to discover and enjoy together.

“This junior version of Eurovision will undoubtedly encapsulate the same spirit of unity that the adult contest brings, reflecting the heart of what CBBC is all about, an inclusive channel that celebrates the diversity and creativity in all children.

“I can’t wait to unveil our own musical talent who will proudly represent the UK.”

The UK first competed at the junior competition during its inaugural edition in 2003 in Copenhagen, Denmark, but withdrew following the 2005 event.

During that time it was broadcast by ITV.

The announcement follows the news that the BBC will host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom on behalf of Ukraine.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV festival, Kate Phillips, director of BBC Unscripted, said she is “so excited” for the BBC to broadcast the singing competition, but recognised it is not a cheap event.

She said the content is a “massive beast” but highlighted it has a “complex funding structure” which includes funding from the European Broadcasting Union, participants and from the host city.

“I do not want people to worry that I am taking all the unscripted money… that is absolutely not the case,” she added.

Earlier this month, the shortlist for the host city was announced with Birmingham named alongside Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.

The junior contest will air on CBBC, BBC One and BBC iPlayer