Nicky Byrne defends Eurovision selection process

He will perform the song 'Sunlight' at the annual contest

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Nicky Byrne | Image: Dermot Byrne

Nicky Byrne has defended the decision to select him to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest this year, saying it was time for a change.

RTÉ has been criticised for choosing the former Westlife singer - and now RTÉ presenter - without the usual selection competition.

Nicky, who has performed in arenas around the world and has sold 45 million records as part of Westlife, will perform the song 'Sunlight' - which was co-written by himself, renowned songwriter Wayne Hector and award-winning composer Ronan Hardiman.

The selection of Nicky is a departure from the usual Eurosong format, which has been the process used over the last eight years.

John McHugh, head of entertainment at RTÉ television, said: "Direct selection has proven to be a successful method for other countries and we felt that this year it would give us the best chance at success".

But not everyone is happy over the selection process by RTÉ. Newstalk Breakfast presenter Ivan Yates had his to say.

Nicky will perform in the Eurovision Semi-Final in the Globe Arena in Stockholm on either Tuesday 10th or Thursday 12th of May, to qualify for a place in the final.

The draw to decide which semi-final Ireland will perform in will take place at the end of January.

Nicky told the Pat Kenny Show here on Newstalk people felt it was time for something different.