Music mogul Pete Waterman tells us all about writing the song for the UK’s Eurovision entry.

Has it been difficult writing the Eurovision song?
“I have to say it took Mike [Stock, his old writing partner] and I quite a bit to work out all this was simple – we just had to go back and write the songs we did back in the 1980s. Both of us realised we just needed to write a good pop song. If we could walk in tomorrow with Better The Devil You Know, they’d be the happiest people in the world. Our job is to write Better The Devil You Know part two.”

How did you get involved?
“The BBC came to us. Without Andrew Lloyd Webber we wouldn’t have done it. The BBC showed that they were serious about it. The year before, they had the problem with Sir Terry – he is such a great racaunteur that it became almost like the Terry Wogan Song Competition with everybody waiting to see how cutting he could be. You can’t be more cutting than Terry so they had to change it.”

So did you enjoy last year’s UK entry?
“Last year was very brave. Brave for Andrew Lloyd Webber too, it’s not really his bag – he’s not a pop writer. I thought that he almost did our work for us. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for us. When they came to us, they said it would be the song that we wanted – the song couldn’t be questioned. It’s hard work, it’s draining. Mike and I have never been frightened to fight for what we believe in, but we wanted to be sure we wouldn’t have to argue between 15 other people about the song.”

How have you gone about finding the perfect song?
“Finding the song absolutely reminded me of finding ‘the’ single. We went into the studio and my son played Hand On Your Heart and I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a great record’. I never really realised how good that song was and I sort of thought, ‘We were quite good really’.”

Do you think you’re the right person for the job?
“There was no reservation. I’m not being funny but we are the most successful pop song writers ever. I’m not being arrogant, that’s fact. We didn’t write for Eurovision before because it was a different ball game then, it was far too uncontrolled. It’s a bun fight, but you have to at least know what bun you’re eating.”

Is it difficult writing a song when you don’t know who will sing it?
“It’s irrelevant not knowing who is going to sing it. Whether a girl or boy sings it, it has to light up. This Time I Know It’s For Real was written for Bananarama, but it ended up being sung by Donna Summer. We knew it would be a hit whoever sang it. Love In The First Degree – we wrote it in one morning then went down the pub, I knew it would be one of our biggest hits. I just knew. It’s the same with this – we can tamper with elements, but the essence is the song, the first 10 seconds.” 

Have you taken inspiration from past Eurovision contestants?
“I haven’t really looked back over the other Eurovision songs. Our records sold all around the world. What’s funny is that the ones that were only UK hits you can hear that – we were europop. When we became too british it never worked abroad. Even our R ‘n’ B hits were big in Germany.” 

What has your proudest musical achievement through the years been?
“There isn’t one – if I win this competition this will be it. I have to look to the future, not the past. If I believe my best days are behind me, I can’t continue can I?”

Don’t miss Eurovision: Your Country Needs You on BBC One at 8.30pm on Friday March 12.