Sex Pistol and Trump stan John Lydon vying to be Ireland’s Eurovision entry

Former Sex Pistol John Lydon is competing to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Lydon, formerly known as Johnny Rotten announced on Monday (9 January) that his band Public Image Ltd is one of six acts vying to become Ireland’s Eurovision entry.

Describing the band’s entry, “Hawaii”, Lydon said: “It is dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most. It’s also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all.”

The news came as a surprise to many given Lydon’s punk roots – he formed Public Image Ltd after the Sex Pistols split in 1978.

Many Eurovision fans noted that Lydon’s previous statements don’t exactly align with the Song Contest’s vision of inclusivity and tolerance

In 2020, Lydon came out in support of Donald Trump, describing him as the “only sensible choice” in the US presidential election.

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He made the admission in an interview with The Observer – the paper said he appeared “to have started supporting Trump when the president was accused of racism”.

“I’ve been accused of the very same thing, so I’m offended for anybody who’s called that,” Lydon said, brandishing a MAGA hat.

In 2008, Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke accused Lydon and his entourage of a racist attack. Lydon has denied the allegations.

In 2005, Lydon said he ‘doesn’t like’ the idea of children growing up with same-sex parents.

During an interview on the BBC’s Sunday morning religious show, The Heaven and Earth Show, he said: “I don’t like the idea of one-parent families. It’s very tough on the kids.

“They grow up missing something. I find the same with same-sex marriages; there is something missing.

“There is a point to male and female – and for a child to develop, it needs both those aspects.”

As reported by Irish outlet RTÉ, Public Image Ltd is among five other entries competing to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Eurovision 2023 will take place in Liverpool, after last year’s winners, Ukraine, were deemed unable to host.

John Lydon of Public Image Limited performing at Kentish Town (Gus Stewart/Redferns

Ireland has won Eurovision seven times, more than any other country, but it has failed to qualify for the grand final since 2018.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will take place from 9 to 13 May.