Ireland’s Head of Delegation, Michael Kealy, has defended John Lydon’s inclusion in Eurosong despite scathing remarks the singer made about Eurovision.
Lydon is competing in the national selection show on Friday with his band Public Image Ltd, hoping to secure the ticket to represent Ireland in Eurovision this year.
He described the contest as “absolutely awful”, “disgusting” and “dreadfully phoney” in an interview with Irish radio station RTE Radio 1.
Speaking exclusively to The Euro Trip ahead of Eurosong, Kealy said: “When you read a quote like that out of context you don’t get the humour in his voice. He was clearly joking.
“I’ve heard him since then and he’s been much more positive about Eurovision.
“People jumped on that quote because I think people who didn’t like the notion of him taking part in the first place wanted another reason to dislike the fact he’s involved in Eurosong. It’s a great testament to Eurosong and to Eurovision itself that you do get world famous acts wanting to take part in it now.
“One of the things that I was eager to establish at the very start was that John and Public Image were putting in a serious effort and they’re not just taking part in an effort to subvert the process or to undermine Eurovision or Eurosong. They’re not. It’s a very honest and sincere song that they’ve put in and there’s a clear story behind it.”
The song Public Image Ltd have put forward to Eurosong is Hawaii, a love letter of a track which is dedicated to Lydon’s wife, Nora, who is living with Alzheimer’s.
The band will compete against five other artists to represent Ireland in Liverpool, with the winner decided by an equally weighted combination of a national jury, international jury and public televote.
Featured image – Prime PR Group / Public Image Ltd
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