Will Bill Bailey enter Eurovision? Inside the Strictly star’s classical music and piano training

25 May 2021, 13:30 | Updated: 25 May 2021, 13:55

Will Bill Bailey enter Eurovision? Inside the Strictly star’s classical music and piano training
Will Bill Bailey enter Eurovision? Inside the Strictly star’s classical music and piano training. Picture: Classic FM/Twitter/Getty

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Bill Bailey has offered to “throw his hat in the ring” for Eurovision 2022. Here’s a look at what the comedian, multi-instrumentalist and musical polymath could offer.

After the UK finished on nil points, actor and musician extraordinaire Bill Bailey offered up his skills for next year’s international song contest.

“I’d be happy to throw my hat in the ring for #Eurovision 2022,” he tweeted.

Bill later revealed he applied for Eurovision a few years ago but got turned down. “I sent in an entry to Eurovision, and it was a kind of spoof eco-anthem in the style of Dad’s Army,” he told the hosts of Good Morning Britain. But he was told his entry was “too silly”.

According to Bill, in order to have any minute chance of performing well next year, the UK needs to embrace the silliness, and throw any element of sincerity out of the window.

“There’s something that we really need to kind of channel,” he said. “Even if it’s a bit over the top, a bit eccentric, which is celebrating what being British is about. I think that’s something that’s been lacking.”

Could Bill Bailey be the musical tonic the nation needs? Here’s a look at the Strictly winner’s skills on keys, and his classical training.

Read more: Listen as Israel’s Eurovision singer produces a super-high B6 note

Does Bill Bailey play piano?

He does – and exceptionally well. Bill was classically trained, starting on the piano aged four.

As he often recalls in his Victor Borge-like musical comedy sketches, the first piece he ever played in public was Mozart’s ‘Coronation’ Piano Concerto. He performed it at school with a small chamber orchestra, and even wrote his own cadenza.

A particularly popular routine he does is ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ in a minor key.

Here’s the brilliant time Bill came to Classic FM and answered 10 random questions, all through piano-playing. Watch out for the moment he turns the Match of the Day theme into a Mozartian sonata, by adding an Alberti bass figure. Genius.

Read more: Bill Bailey proves ‘Match of the Day’ sounds WAY better with an Alberti bass

Is Bill Bailey classically trained, and does he have perfect pitch?

Yes indeed. Bill has perfect pitch and plays numerous instruments from the mandolin to the theremin, which he incorporates into his comedy.

The comedian’s musical aptitudes were first spotted in school. He was the only pupil in his year to take A-Level Music, which he passed with an A grade. And it was in school that he was given his nickname, Bill – Bailey’s given name is actually Mark – by a music teacher who found themselves in awe of his guitar rendition of the song ‘Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey’.

He also mentioned in an interview that he has passed Grade 6 on the clarinet.

Elsewhere, Bill has an Associate Diploma from the London College of Music and was made an honorary member of the Society of Crematorium Organists.

Read more: Comic genius Bill Bailey proves The Star-Spangled Banner sounds way better in a minor key

Is Bill Bailey a trained dancer?

After winning Strictly Come Dancing in December, Bill’s dance background was brought up for question by a dazzled public.

Bill admitted after his win that many years ago, as a teenager, he had ballroom dance lessons encompassing the waltz, the foxtrot and the quickstep. Billy Elliot-style, Bill had attended a dance school across the road from where he lived, for a few lessons.

However, elder Bill has always been modest about his moves. “I can see the appeal of the foxtrot, the tango, the rhumba, the formal nature of it all, the practised moved, the precision, but it’s not really me,” he said.

All to say, if Bill does through his proverbial hat in the Eurovision ring, we could get literally anything from a foxtrot to Fauré.