Engelbert Humperdinck will represent the UK at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. The 75-year-old crooner , who released his first album ‘Release Me’ in 1967 and put out his last studio effort ‘Released’ in 2010, said it was “an absolute honour” to be chosen to take part in the competition.
He will sing a song written co-written by Sacha Skarbek – who helped pen James Blunt’s single ‘You’re Beautiful’ – and Grammy award-winning producer Martin Terefe at this year’s contest, which takes place in Baku, Azerbaijan on 26th May. Speaking to the BBC, he said:
“It’s an absolute honour to be representating my country for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. When the BBC approached me, it just felt right for me to a part of an institution like Eurovision. I’m excited and raring to go and want the nation to get behind me!”
Meanwhile, a BBC spokeswoman said that Humperdinck hadn’t been chosen because of his age, even though he will now be the oldest ever Eurovision contestant. She said:
“Engelbert’s age isn’t the reason why we chose him to represent the nation for Eurovision, but it’s nice to break a few records along the way.”
Katie Taylor, BBC head of entertainment and events, added:
“Not since the ’70s have we had such an established international musical legend represent the nation. We couldn’t be more delighted. Engelbert’s experience leaves us in no doubt that he will be able to deliver a standout performance in front of 120 million viewers worldwide.”
The last UK act to win the Eurovision Song Contest was Katrina And The Waves, who took first place in 1997 with their track ‘Love Shine A Light’. Last year’s entry – ‘I Can’ by boyband Blue – finished in 14th place.