SNP MEP Alyn Smith calls for Scottish Eurovision entry

An SNP MEP is calling for Scotland to have their own entry in the Eurovision Song Contest.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith. Picture PA Wire

Alyn Smith believes rather than being represented by the United Kingdom, the home nations should take it in turns to represent the country.

Nations with television stations that hold membership to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) - such as STV in Scotland and UTV in Northern Ireland - would alternate covering the event.

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Mr Smith also criticised the BBC for its “snide” coverage of the 62-year-old competition, in an interview with the Sunday Herald.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith. Picture PA Wire

He said: “It’s a little bit snide and grudging the way the BBC does it.

“This is a stage on which we could shine whereas the way that the BBC does it still is ‘this is a bit of camp nonsense and it’s rubbish, and it’s great because it’s rubbish, and it’s great because it’s camp’.”

Many countries on the continent take the singing contest seriously and see it as opportunity to present their nation to a global audience of 182 million (2017).

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SNP MEP Alyn Smith. Picture PA Wire

Mr Smith argues that Scotland could do the same.

“This is a shop window that Scotland could have once every four years presently, or indeed in an independent Scotland every year, to an audience of the entire European continent and wider,” he said.

“It’s an opportunity to showcase the vibrant Scottish music scene that we have in spades.

“We already punch above our weight musically and here’s a platform where instead of trotting out some world-class talent we’re trotting out some tired, third rate re-hashes which wouldn’t look out of place in a Butlins theme camp.

“The way the BBC is doing it is actually celebrating camp, kitsch mediocrity rather than talent.

“That’s a harsh judgement on the entries we’ve had recently, but I think it’s a good one.”

He added: “In these Brexit times we live in, where the UK’s reputation is not overly hot, I think we need some opportunities to do well. Here’s an opportunity and here’s a mechanism whereby Scotland could have a showcase but also underline that we still want to be part of this.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC is a member of the EBU and as such we submit a song for the competition as the United Kingdom entry.”