Former Sex Pistol John Lydon fails in his attempt to represent Ireland at Eurovision 2023

Image of John Lydon from PiL and The Sex Pìstols in 2008. Credit: Wikipedia - By Ed Vill from Caracas, Venezuela - John Lydon - Sex Pistols Live 2008, CC BY 2.0,

Former Sex Pistols frontman John ‘Johnny Rotten’ Lydon failed to win a place representing Ireland at Eurovision 2023.


John Lydon, the former frontman of the 1970s punk band The Sex Pistols failed this Friday, February 3, to secure a place representing Ireland in the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Lydon and his band, Public Image Ltd (PiL), could only manage fourth place out of the six entries being judged.

PiL performed a song called ‘Hawaii’, which Lydon revealed was written as a love letter for his wife Nora who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. “It means the world to me, this is our last few years of coherence together. And I miss her like mad”, Lydon commented before the 67th annual competition.

He explained that he wrote the song as a tribute to their 40 years of marriage and as a special memory of their time on the magical island of Hawaii. “I miss my missus, if you keep voting for me I’m going to miss her even more”, continued the singer once known as Johnny Rotten, as reported by

A normally extremely confident Lydon admitted that he was “terrified of mugging it up, getting it wrong, letting people down – mostly letting Nora down. This is something that I watched when I was young with my parents. I remember Johnny Logan, I remember Cliff Richard, I remember Sandy Shaw”, he recalled fondly about watching Eurovision as a youngster.

“It’s as good as any other way of listening to music, I don’t have any prejudices about things like that”. He pointed out that he chose to represent Ireland “because I’m as much Irish as anybody else by blood”.

The scores on the night were decided by three different systems, with an international panel of judges, a national panel, and a public vote. Wild Youth – a popular rock band from Dublin – sang ‘We Are One’ and claimed the top spot. They will now compete in Liverpool this coming May on behalf of Ireland.


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at