The UK is taking a rather novel approach to this years Eurovision Song Contest. They have selected septuagenarian crooner Arnold George Dorsey aka Gerry Dorsey but better known as Engelbert Humperdinck. After years of poor results in the contest with the nadir arriving in 2003 with a first UK nul points score from the hapless Jemini. Last year boy band Blue were our entry with the song “I Can”. They could only muster and 11th place finish which suggests that the song would have been more appropriate if it were called ‘I Can’t’
Engelbert will be 76 when the contest takes place in Azerbaijan on 26th May this year. he was born in Madras, India in 1936 to a British father and an Indian mother. The song is apparently not written yet but will be composed, at least in part, by Sacha Skarbek, a Novello award winner who cowrote James Blunt‘s bloody awful dirge “You’re Beautiful”. Not a great omen then! Hump had his first major success in 1967 when his UK number one managed to prevent the Beatles from achieving another chart topper with the double ‘A’ side “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane“. His song “Release me” was also the best-selling UK single in 1967. All that at the height of the hippy movement and in the summer of love.
Some Eurovision experts (yes there are plenty) have suggested that with so many countries in the competition the ‘youth vote’ is split. However experts believe that the choice of the Hump to warble for Britain will pick up the pan European pensioners votes. He also took his name from the German composer who wrote an opera called ‘Hansel and Gretel’, so that’s the German vote in the bag as well. He has had four number one songs in Ireland and release me was number one in the Netherlands so that’s two countries that’ll vote for him as well, so it’s certainly shaping up not to be another nul points year.
Personally I think he may pick up a few votes from the hip community, as opposed to the hip replacement community, this would result from his appearance on the ‘Beavis And Butthead Do America‘ movie soundtrack. The song was not a big hit, but it was for many, including me, a classic. That song was “Lesbian Seagull”. On the subject of Beavis and Butthead, Jedward have been selected to represent Ireland in the contest for the second year in a row. I have a degree of admiration for their management for extend their 15 minutes of fame so far beyond their sell-by date. They did do better than Blue last year though! Anyway let me finish by showcasing a few Humperdinck classics.