Engelbert Humperdinck rides to Britain's rescue at Eurovision
Apparently, it is 15 years since Britain won the 'Eurovision Song Contest' and the BBC will turn the clock back in its bid to break the embarrassingly long losing streak at this year's song contest by putting the 75 year old Engelbert forward as the country's contestant in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku.
Englebert who divides his time between Los Angeles and Leicester, said :
That it was an "absolute honour" to have been chosen to represent his country. "I'm excited and raring to go and want the nation to get behind me."
Katie Taylor, the BBC's 'Head of Entertainment and Events', said:
"Not since the 70's have we had such an established international musical legend represent the nation. 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."
His song will be produced by Grammy award-winning Martin Terefe and co-written with Sacha Sharbek, who co-wrote James Blunt's 'You're Beautiful'
|What you possibly didn't know about Englebert, that he :|
* was named Arnold, one of ten children born in Madras, India, the son of British Army officer Mervyn Dorsey and his Indian wife who moved to Leicester in England, when he was 10.
* had an interest in music and learnt the saxophone, played in nightclubs in the 1950's, tried singing when he was 17 and his impression of Jerry Lewis prompted friends to begin calling him 'Gerry Dorsey,' a name he worked under for almost a decade.
* did his 'national service' in the British Army during the mid 1950's and after discharge, got his first chance to record a song with Decca in 1958 called "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," which was not a hit.
* worked the nightclubs until 1961, was stricken with tuberculosis, recovered and in 1965, teamed up with his former roommate, Gordon Mills , the manager of singer Tom Jones, changed his name to Engelbert Humperdinck, after the 19th century opera composer.
* in 1967, saw his version of 'Release Me' reach 'number one' in Britain, keeping The Beatles 'Strawberry Fields / Penny Lane' from the top slot and spent 56 weeks in the Top 50 in the year Sandie Shaw won Eurovision for Britain with 'Puppet on a String.'
* earned a large following of female fans, including the young Princess Anne, who called themselves 'Humperdickers' and had success with the ballads, There Goes My Everything' and 'The Last Waltz' and gained the reputation as a 'crooner'.
* sold more than 150 million albums, received 4 Grammy nomionations, a Golden Globe and 63 gold and 24 platinum records and after his 60's heyday played as many as 250 gigs around the world.
So Britain's old men say : " Good luck Arnold ! We'll be rooting for you !"