John Lydon says he’s “terrified of mugging up” Eurovision entry

Lydon's band Public Image Ltd are competing in the selection stage with a song dedicated to his wife

John Lydon has said that he’s feeling particularly nervous about competing to become this year’s Eurovision contestant for Ireland.

The former Sex Pistol announced his bid to represent Ireland in the annual singing competition with his band Public Image Ltd., last month. They will be performing a new song, ‘Hawaii’, for the competition, which is dedicated to Lydon’s wife Nora who is living with Alzheimer’s disease.

The band will perform tonight (February 3) in a televised competition special as part of Ireland’s The Late Late Show on the state broadcaster RTÉ’s channel. They are set to compete against five other acts: Adgy, Connolly, Wild Youth, Leila Jane, and K Muni & ND.


The hopefuls gathered in the RTÉ television studios in Dublin on Thursday where they met their competition and spoke about how they were feeling about the selection process.

John Lydon of Public Image Ltd performs on stage at O2 Forum Kentish Town on June 16, 2022 in London, England. (CREDIT: Jim Dyson/Getty Images)

“This is something that I watched when I was young with my parents,” John said of the contest. “I remember Johnny Logan, I remember Cliff Richard, I remember Sandy Shaw – and now Johnny,” said Lydon.

“It’s as good as any other way of listening to music, I don’t have any prejudices about things like that.”

He then revealed how nervous he was to perform, particularly with a song that he hopes will raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease. “I don’t know what I’m going to go through doing this today. I’m even shaking now thinking about it,” he admitted.

“It means the world to me, this is our last few years of coherence together. And I miss her like mad. I miss my missus, if you keep voting for me I’m going to miss her even more.”


He went on to say that he was still “terrified of mugging it up, getting it wrong, letting people down – mostly letting Nora down”.

Lydon said in 2020 that he had scrapped a planned Public Image Ltd album to care for Nora, whom he confirmed was living with Alzheimer’s back in 2018.

Eurovision 2023 will take place in Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena on Saturday, May 13.

The BBC announced earlier this week that the slogan for this year’s competition, which the UK is hosting on Ukraine’s behalf due to the ongoing war, will be “United By Music”.

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