Jessica Garlick in fact had been a planned guest for the event, but unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute due to illness. During the day several events were held, including a contest of songs which finished in fourth place in Europe's Favourite TV Show over the years won by Estonia's 2000 entry Once In A Lifetime by Ines, a Stars In Their Eyes contest a Eurovision Song Contest quiz, and an open questions and answers session with the guests Martyn Baylay and James Fox.
Eighth time lucky!
2002 composer Martyn Baylay explained that although his song won the United Kingdom national selection process back in 2002, it was in fact his eighth attempt at success!. Martyn explained: "In the past, I had always tried to deliberately write a song for the Contest, I would try anything to get in, I studied form so to speak and tried to create the perfect contest song. None of this was successful, so when I thought I don't care about formula any more, I sent in Come Back and it won! Martyn also revealed that on the demo recording sent to United Kingdom broadcaster BBC, it was in fact Bernie Nolan from the Nolan Sisters singing the track."
Martyn also shared his thoughts about the 2009 United Kingdom project, he said: "I was very pleased with the BBC take this year, getting world renowned stars like Andrew Lloyd Webber and Diane Warren involved. It showed the rest of Europe that the United Kingdom was taking the event seriously again. I liked the song from Jade, but if anything, with the pedigree of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Diane Warren, I was a little disappointed with the song, I think that had they written a slightly better song, that fifth place could easily have turned in to a victory."
Martyn Baylay's song Come Back, performed by Jessica Garlick finished in third place at the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest.
James Fox preparing to take on Europe once more
James Fox reflected back on his experiences in Istanbul at the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest with fondness, and said: "It was the best week in my life musically, I had no pre conceived ideas. It was a media circus, I was a little hung over on the plane journey and I remember being greeted by a huge media presence and lots of fans. I can barely remember everything about the week, so it must have been a good one!."
James admitted he was a little frustrated with the situation in 2004, which prevented him from having any input in the song choice for the United Kingdom selection, and although very much liked the song Hold On To Our Love, would have liked to have performed one of his own songs. During the voting he also joked that each time Ukraine got 12 points, as it rhymed with UK he thought he had scored the maxium points!. Since his participation in 2004, James went to the United States of America, touring for three years in the musical Movin Out where he performed his idol Billy Joel hits in the lead role.
Ever since 2004, James said he had been constantly frustrated about the result in Istanbul and had always wanted to try again and felt he could do better. He then let everybody in on his plans. He revealed: "I have written what I consider to be the perfect song for the Eurovision Song Contest, and am trying to enter again. I was just about to pitch it to the BBC in fact for 2009 before the Andrew Lloyd Webber project was announced. I have done a lot of writing with Norwegian songwriter Mads Hauge, and actually Norway wanted this song for their National Selection for 2010 in Oslo, they wanted it to be the Norwegian entry. I had to decide to turn down the chance to enter for Norway, as I want to represent the United Kingdom again but the BBC haven't yet confirmed the selection process for 2010, unfortunately I can't present it for you yet as the rules don't allow it, but watch this space!"
James Fox finished in 16th place in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest with his ballad Hold On To Our Love.