Engelbert Humperdinck is to represent the UK at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan. The British crooner, best known for his 1967 hit 'Release Me', which outsold The Beatles 'Strawberry Fields Forever' to grab the No. 1 spot, says he is "absolutely honoured" to be taking part, reports Bbc News.
The 75-year-old was the surprise choice to be selected, though efforts in recent years have seen the United Kingdom finish poorly in the overall scoring chart. Engelbert's Eurovision song will be written by Grammy Award winning producer Martin Terefe and Ivor Novello winner Sacha Skarbek, who co-write James Blunt's huge selling hit 'You're Beautiful'. The veteran will be no stranger to the screaming fans filling the arena in Azerbaijan, having sold 150 million records and toured across the globe. Twitter reaction was a mixture of ironic celebrations and pure disappointment, with some questioning Humperdinck's ability to even sing anymore. It's true that his last UK top 20 single was over 40 years ago, when his track 'Too Beautiful To Last' reached No 14 in the charts. Speaking after the announcement, he said, "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!".