By Ellie Iorizzo, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter
Graham Norton has tipped Ireland’s Eurovision entry Wild Youth to do well in the song contest in Liverpool, praising the group’s “good athematic song”.
The international song competition, which is set to air on the BBC next week, will be hosted by comedian and talk show host Norton, alongside singer and Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon, Ted Lasso actress Hannah Waddingham and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina.
Appearing on ITV’s Lorraine on Wednesday, Cork-born Norton (60) said: “What I like about it is that it’s in Liverpool, but actually it’s in the UK, there’s a real sense that everyone is excited about this.”
Wednesday with @reallorraine:
🎤 Graham Norton ahead of hosting the Eurovision Song Contest
✨ @MrPeterAndre's celebrating 30 years in show business
🎥 Sam McAlister, who scooped the Prince Andrew interview, discusses what's next for him
💷 @ClaerB's back with money advice pic.twitter.com/S2qBh6b6qg
— Lorraine (@lorraine) May 3, 2023
Talking about the acts, he said: “Mae Muller is really, really good, Loreen is the favourite from Sweden, (but) I think little dark horses might be those boys from Ireland.
“It’s a good athematic song and I just saw a little bit of their dress rehearsal, and it’s really well styled.
“They’ve got a disco gold jumpsuit… if they get through the semi-final I think they might do well on the night.”
The group, comprising Conor O’Donohoe, Callum McAdam, Ed Porter and David Whelan, will represent Ireland in the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool on May 9 with their song We Are One.
Wild Youth performed on the Eurosong edition of RTE’s The Late Late Show for the chance to represent Ireland at this year’s contest, beating other contestants including former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon and his band Public Image Ltd.
To reach the final on Saturday May 13, the group will have to qualify from Tuesday’s semi-final which also includes entries from competition favourites Sweden and Finland.
Ireland has participated in Eurovision more than 50 times and has a record seven wins, but has failed to qualify for the final since Ryan O’Shaughnessy entered with his song Together in 2018.
Muller will compete for the UK with her track I Wrote A Song, which features tongue-in-cheek lyrics about a cheating ex-boyfriend and a propulsive dance beat.