Eurovision 2015 host Mirjam Weichselbraun encouraged Ben Mawson to get involved with the BBC’s Eurovision selection process, Lee Smithurst has revealed.
Weichselbraun is married to Mawson who spearheaded the UK’s internal selection for Eurovision this year with his company Tap Music.
The internal selection culminated with Sam Ryder being chosen as the country’s representative.
Smithurst is the Series Producer of the BBC’s Eurovision coverage and was speaking exclusively to The Euro Trip.
Asked how the collaboration with Mawson and Tap Music came about, Smithurst said: “I actually sent Ben [Mawson] an email about one of his artists in around June.
“He immediately called me up and said: ‘This artist isn’t right for Eurovision, however I’ve been talking to my wife…’. She had said to him: ‘Why aren’t you doing this? Why aren’t you helping?’”
Smithurst didn’t reveal who the other artist on Tap Music’s books he had emailed Mawson about.
“Ben is so passionate about British music and especially artists that he’s got…and promoting them worldwide. He said ‘I don’t think my artist you’ve approached me for is right, however let’s talk about Eurovision because maybe there is a role I can play in it’.
“That was not something that was considered before that and then once we had that conversation I introduced Ben to the rest of the team and the conversations went from there.
“We met Ed [Millett] who’s his business partner. They said ‘Let’s do it! We want to come into this project and we will speak to everyone that we know and we will find you the best artist and song.’
“They were so passionate about it that you just put your faith in them. They’ve got a track record of being able to make international hits. Ben understands the music industry like no-one else and it just felt like it was right for everyone.”
Smithurst also told The Euro Trip that Mawson managed to attract other big names to consider Eurovision participation before deciding Sam Ryder was the best choice.
“There was so much interest that Ben was able to [get].
“There were definitely really big names interested and sometimes Ben would bring songs that didn’t have an artist attached but it felt like when Sam popped up all the stars aligned with everything else that came with Sam.”
Image credit – Eurovision.tv