Coventry born Liam Tamne is one of the six acts hoping to represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Ahead of the UK selection programme, Eurovision: You Decide, the openly gay performer, and star of West End musicals and The Voice, talks to Dean Asker about his song, Astronaut.
Eurovision is massively popular with the gay community. As a gay man yourself, what appeals to you about the Contest?
I think it’s almost illegal not to like Eurovision if you’re a gay man! Eurovision is something that’s really important to me because when I was growing up I never really saw anyone of my heritage (my dad is Kenyan Indian, my mum is from Belfast) in the media or public eye. I think we are so fortunate to live in a country where I can marry the person who I love. And one of the reasons I want to be part of Eurovision is because there are still countries in Europe where being gay is frowned upon. I want to represent everything about who I am in a positive light. I love the fact that I am married to someone that I love - love is love.
Tell us about your entry, Astronaut
It’s really relatable. It’s ageless, it’s timeless. It’s especially relatable to me because I had to support my husband through one of the hardest times in his life when he lost his dad. Everyone has to face difficult and challenging times in their lives, and Astronaut is an incredible song about being there for someone. What I love about the song is it’s very British. There’s a singer/songwriter feel to it, it’s very current. That’s why I was keen to do it.
Tell me about growing up in Coventry.
I was born in Walsgrave Hospital. I grew up in Grafton Street, and then I moved to Wyken, and then to Mount Nod. I went to Secred Heart and Cardinal Wiseman schools. I am very proud of my Coventry roots, and am delighted the city won the UK City of Culture for 2021.
You are primarily a musical theatre performer, having appeared in shows like The Phantom of the Opera and Hairspray. Is that where you see your career, or do you see yourself more as pop singer?
I think they both work together. You only have to look to America. People who do shows on Broadway, they also do TV, film and pop music. There’s no point limiting myself to one thing. If I’m capable of doing the two, musicals and pop, then why not. And, I don't mean to sound arrogant, but I know I am capable of doing both. I was on series 2 of The Voice and all 4 judges turned around for me.
Describe your song in three words.
My song is relatable, ageless and British.
Eurovision: You Decide is on BBC2 on Wednesday 7 February at 7.30pm
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