Belfast Telegraph

Englebert may just hit right note at Eurovision

By Gail Walker

The return of Englebert Humperdinck to represent the UK in Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest is one of those decisions - it is either the masterstroke of a behind the scenes genius or an all-too-clear sign that someone somewhere has totally lost the plot.

Me, I suspect that for once someone has got it right.

Englebert is a superstar, still huge in the critical voting bloc of eastern Europe (apparently) and, if reports are to believed, still capable of delivering a certain type of song.

Also, the choice of Arnold George Dorsey (you don't think Englebert's his real name, do you?) makes a nice change from the usual string of non-entities: Daz Sampson? Scooch? Andy Abraham?

And let's face it, EngHump is a reminder of happier days when all a man had to do was to loosen his bow tie, pop his cufflinks and shake a martini to have his 'la-hay-hay-dee' melting into his open - and remarkably manly - arms.

Critics point out that at 75, he will be the oldest Eurovision performer ever. So what? Paul McCartney is 70, all of the Rolling Stones are entitled to a free bus pass, and Cohen and Dylan aren't doing so bad for wrinklies. Rock 'n' roll is an ageing medium.

The only drawbacks to Englebert's chances are the song - who knows what clunker we'll manage to pull out of the cupboard? Plus, choosing him might just tip the wink too strongly that Eurovision is nothing but an ironyfest and a jokey, campy celebration of ludicrousness.

Still, who cares? I'll be there with my bowl of popcorn and spritzer roaring Englebert on to glory.

Now if only Ireland would brush off Val Doonican for a real Clash of the Titans.

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