The United Kingdom and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) held a national final titled "A Song for Europe 1981" to choose who would represent them in the Eurovision Song Contest 1981. "A Song for Europe 1981" was held on 11 March 1981 where Bucks Fizz was chosen with "Making Your Mind Up" as the entrant. At Eurovision, they placed first winning the competition with 136 points.
The BBC reduced the number of finalists from twelve to eight in 1981. Terry Wogan hosted the contest on 11 March. It was held at the Television Theatre. 581 songs were submitted to the Music Publisher's Association to pick eight songs. There was an orchestra off screen, conducted by John Coleman. The show was the 16th most watched programme of the week with a rating of 12.4 million viewers, the highest for three years.
Seven regional juries voted on the songs. They were based in Birmingham (spokesperson: David Stevens), Cardiff (Ewan Thomas), Manchester (John Mundy), Belfast (Peter Dixon), Edinburgh (Jim O' Hara), London (Ray Moore) and Bristol (Andy Battern Foster). At the close of voting, Terry Wogan incorrectly announced the winning song as "Where Are You Now". The prizes were presented by Wogan to John Danter, one of the songwriters, and to Mike Nolan, one of the performers.