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The search is on, as Wales heads to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest

10/05/2018

- Search for young stars to sing for Wales in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

- Life changing opportunity to perform to an audience of millions across Europe and beyond.

In 2018, for the first time ever, Wales will compete as an individual nation at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest – offering young singers an opportunity to represent Wales on the HUGE stage in Minsk, Belarus in November.

S4C and production company Rondo Media have today (10 May 2018) launched their 'Search for a Star' to compete in an event unlike any other! Applicant must register and complete an application form online at s4c.cymru/junioreurovision to secure a place at the nationwide audition process to take place in June.

In Europe, nothing compares to the Eurovision Song Contest, which is being held this weekend in Lisbon, Portugal. The sister event for 9 to 14 year olds is just as ambitious and draws a following from all corners of Europe and beyond. Thousands turn up for the live show and millions more tune in the TV broadcast across dozens of nations. The 2017 Junior Eurovision competition drew in an audience of millions across 15 countries.

This year, the Junior Eurovision will be shown live on S4C, on Sunday 25 November. In the run up, a series of three programmes will guide us through the search for a star, with an opportunity for the public to have their say on choosing the act to represent Wales in Minsk.

Presenter Trystan Ellis-Morris fronts the search, and he's joined by experienced performers Connie Fisher, Tara Bethan and Stifyn Parri who will mentor the young singers through the process.

Trystan Ellis-Morris says; "On Wales' debut year, we're looking to make a BIG impression! Last year, 16 nations competed in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and the numbers exceed it for 2018. And so we're casting our net wide in the search of the best talent in the country. We want to see the very best of the best that Wales has to offer!"

Considering Wales' musical heritage, there will be no shortage of contenders, and this is an opportunity like no other to perform on a stage beyond anything on offer here in Wales. The song chosen for the competition will be in Welsh, giving the language a status among Europe's nations, but the performer does not need to be fluent in the Welsh language. This opportunity is open to all Welsh youngsters and they can apply as soloists or as a group of up to six people.

"I can't help but get excited when I think about the opportunity available for our youngsters to represent Wales at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest," says Elen Rhys, S4C Entertainment Content Commissioner.

"We are extremely proud that we're able to offer the experience of performing on a stage unlike any other in Wales. This event leaves both the X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent in the shade – it's even bigger than the National Eisteddfod! Come November, Europe's eyes will be fixed on Minsk with Wales, the Red Dragon and the Welsh language in the thick of it. This is a source of immense pride for me and for S4C."

The closing date for applications is at 10.00 o clock Sunday night, 3 June 2018. Full details of the rules and how to apply are available online s4c.cymru/junioreurovision

Ends

Notes to editors:

The Junior Eurovision Song contest is part of a family of Eurovision competitions staged by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). It includes the flagship Eurovision Song Contest and The Eurovision Choir of the Year held for the first time last year in Riga, Latvia. Welsh choir, Merched Sir Gâr, represented Wales in the contest, broadcast live on S4C. They were selected after winning the national final Côr Cymru (translation: Choir of Wales), which took place at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre in April 2017, and organised and broadcast by S4C. The other contests in the Eurovision family are the; Eurovision Young Musicians, Eurovision Young Dancers, Eurovision Dance Contest and the Eurovision Asia Song Contest.

Each country's entry must be selected through a televised national final. Wales' entry will be chosen in a three part series broadcast in the autumn which will follow the audition process and culminate in a live final where the public have a chance to vote for their favourite from among a short-list of six acts.

This will be the 16th Junior Eurovision Song Contest ever held. The first was in Copenhagen in 2003. Last year's contest, held in Tbilisi, Georgia, was won by Russia with the sing Wings performed by Polina Bogusevich. 2.6 million people tuned in to the competition on TV across Europe last year.

Unlike the main Eurovision Song Contest, the winning country is not necessarily the host for the following year's competition. Minsk, Belarus was chosen despite the fact that it was Russia that won the previous year's contest. Since 2015 EBU Members have been invited to apply to host the Junior Eurovision Contest.

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