BBC hit by a Humper ding-dong as it's swamped with complaints over UK’s Eurovision entry
By Sara Nathan
Last updated at 1:27 AM on 7th March 2012
The BBC has been swamped with complaints after picking Engelbert Humperdinck to sing Britain’s entry at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The crooner, whose hits include Release Me and The Last Waltz, will be 76 by the time he takes to the stage in Baku, Azerbaijan, on May 26 to perform an as yet unnamed song.
Many viewers made their complaints on the BBC’s website. Joseph Leather called the move ‘absolutely shocking’.
Controversial Choice: 75-year-old crooner Englebert Humperdinck has been selected to represent Britain at the Eurovision Song Contest
He added: ‘With the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee this year, it’s the perfect occasion to show the UK as a young hip place to be, not stuck in the past which you have clearly done.’
Another, called magnificentpolarbear, wrote: ‘What sort of message does this send to the world?
'That in 2012 there are no up and coming performers that can represent the UK?
‘Or maybe the strategy is to win by gathering the middle-aged women vote from all across Europe.’
A BBC spokesman said the choice of Humperdinck ‘has been the subject of much heated debate’, but added: ‘We are delighted by the overwhelming and largely positive response.’
Even though the UK is one of the most successful countries to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest and has won the contest a total of five times, it has suffered dire scores in the past few years.
Since 1999, the year in which the rule was abandoned that songs must be performed in one of the official languages of the country participating, the UK has suffered - only finishing within the top ten twice.
Jessica Garlick in 2002 and Jade Ewen in 2009 have been the only two entrants to succeed in earning a top five spot since 1998.
Miss Ewen was praised for ending the run of poor Eurovision results after her performance of It’s My Time’ and went on to join girl group the Sugababes.
In the 2011 contest, the BBC chose boy band Blue to perform for the United Kingdom. They finished in 11th place with 100 points.
Writing on the BBC site, another viewer added: ‘The BBC is one of the world’s biggest and best broadcasters in a country famed for its musical talent...
‘We have to take this outdated ‘we’re better than Europe so let’s not even try to compete and just send something ironic draped in a Union Jack’ approach and then when inevitably no-one votes for us we cry foul.
‘Blue and Jade were honourable exceptions, but that’s just a small fraction of what could be achieved with just a bit of effort and budget.’
Speaking about his bid to win the Eurovision Song Contest - a feat which Britain has not achieved in 14 years - Mr Humperdinck said: ‘It’s an absolute honour to be representing my country for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
‘When the BBC approached me, it just felt right for me to be a part of an institution like Eurovision. I’m excited and raring to go and want the nation to get behind me!’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2111325/BBC-hit-Humper-ding-dong-swamped-complaints-UK-s-Eurovision-entry.html#ixzz1oPgkuCog