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Justin Timberlake to perform at Eurovision in non-competing role

Published 09/05/2016

Scott Mills said critics who still sneer at the Eurovision Song Contest have an
Scott Mills said critics who still sneer at the Eurovision Song Contest have an "old school attitude" (BBC/Guy Levy/PA)
Joe And Jake will be flying the flag for the UK

Global superstar Justin Timberlake has been confirmed to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in a non-competing role.

Timberlake is set to take the stage during the interval at the grand finale of the show in Stockholm this weekend.

It is the first time in the history of the contest that a performer of global stature has taken to the stage to perform in a non-competing role, Eurovision said.

In a statement, Sven Stojanovic, the producer of this year's show, said: " This is a fantastic opportunity, we are very happy and excited that Justin Timberlake will perform his new song together with his band in our show.

"It makes it extra special that the Swedish songwriters Max Martin and Shellback have co-written and co-produced the song together with Justin Timberlake."

The nine-time Grammy award winner will perform his new song, Can't Stop the Feeling, which he wrote for his latest film, Trolls.

BBC broadcaster Scott Mills recently said critics who sneer at the song contest have an "old school attitude".

Alongside The Great British Bake Off's Mel Giedroyc, the Radio 1 presenter will co-host BBC Four's live coverage of the two semi-finals on May 10 and 12.

Thursday's semi-final will also feature a pre-recorded appearance from UK entry Joe And Jake performing their song You're Not Alone.

On Saturday, Graham Norton is once again at the helm for BBC One's live broadcast of the grand final itself from Stockholm.

Mills told the Press Association: "What critics need to get their heads around is that, actually, there are some good songs in Eurovision. I think the people that still sneer about it, that's quite an old school attitude to it now."

As founders of the competition which was first staged in 1956, the "big five" of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK are automatic finalists, along with the host nation.

The two semi-finals will feature 36 countries, with acts from Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Latvia, Poland, Switzerland, Israel and Australia, to name a few, competing for a chance to perform in the final.

Ten countries from each heat will join the big five and host nation Sweden.

:: Semi-final 1 of the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast on BBC Four on May 10 at 8pm.

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