Nicky Byrne to represent Ireland in 2016 Eurovision in Stockholm – reports
FORMER Westlife member Nicky Byrne will defend Ireland’s Eurovision record in Sweden, according to reports.
The Dubliner recently confirmed he had returned to the studio to record new music.
Speculation is mounting that RTE will scrap the open Eurosong competition and will select the 2FM presenter internally.
RTE refused to confirm the rumours to Independent.ie.
A spokesperson said: "RTÉ will be making an announcement regarding our selection process later this month - all details will appear on rte.ie in due course."
Speaking on the Nicky Byrne Show on 2fm on Thursday Nicky said, "I don't comment on rumours, I never have done. Anything you read are unconfirmed reports."
Ireland will be forced to defend our winning record at Eurovision this year for the first time – if Sweden were to win again on home turf in 2016 they would tie Ireland’s record at seven each.
Sweden’s Eurovision boss has already stated the country’s aim in 2016 is to take the all-time record – as in a tie break the most recent victory would count for more, given more countries now participate than in 1996 when Ireland last won.
It would be the first time since 2007 that the broadcaster selected an act without a public vote.
Dervish finished last in 2007’s Eurovision final in Helsinki.
The band were only rescued from the dreaded ‘nil point’ by the Albanian jury vote, after the country’s televote system failed and the broadcaster were forced to revert to a backup jury vote.
Ireland has had mixed fortunes over the last number of years in the competition since an open Eurosong competition was reintroduced.
We failed to qualify for the final in 2008, 2009, 2014 and 2015.
However, we made the final in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
If Ireland fails to qualify for the final in 2016 it would be the worst run of results in RTE’s Eurovision history.