John Lydon brands Eurovision “disgusting” despite vying to represent Ireland

His band Public Image Ltd wants to compete in this year's song contest

John Lydon has said that he finds Eurovision to be “disgusting” and “dreadfully phoney”.

The Public Image Ltd singer, who is hoping to represent Ireland with his band at this year’s event, admitted in a radio interview yesterday (January 10) that’s he thinks the song contest is “awful” despite wishing to compete in it.

He told Cormac Ó hEadhra on RTE’s Radio 1 (via Metro): “It’s absolutely awful, the songs. The whole thing of it is disgusting to me. I’m a songwriter, I perform live, and these shows just come across as so dreadfully phoney to me.


“But look, we’re giving it a chance to break out of that mould.”

The former Sex Pistols singer announced this week along with his band that they will compete to represent Ireland at this year’s contest in Liverpool with new track ‘Hawaii’.

This year’s competition will take place this May in Liverpool, the city that beat Glasgow to stage the contest on behalf of Ukraine after organisers deemed that last year’s winning country would be unable to host the event due to their ongoing war with Russia.

Public Image Ltd’s ‘Hawaii’ has been described by Lydon as a “love letter” to his wife of nearly 50 years, Nora, who has Alzheimer’s disease.

Lydon added: “My wife when she sees this, it’s going to melt her, Alzheimer’s or not. It’s the most rewarding thing.”


Asked how his band might change things up should they get the chance to represent Ireland, he added: “I’ve no idea. Apparently, I have to do karaoke over a backing track.”

Public Image Ltd
Public Image Ltd. Credit: Press.

But he said that it’s a “fantastic opportunity” to have the chance to take part.

Public Image Ltd will compete against Wild Youth, Adgy, Connolly, Leila Jane and K Muni & ND for Ireland’s 2023 Eurovision spot spot during a televised contest on The Late Late Show on February 3 (stream here).

The announcement of ‘Hawaii’ and Eurovision comes two months after the band’s guitarist Keith Levene died aged 65.

“Rest in Peace Keith Levene,” Lydon’s Twitter account wrote upon the news breaking. “Condolences to his family and loved ones from everyone at PiL Official.”

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