Engelbert Humperdinck Chosen For Eurovision 2012

It's been confirmed that British crooner, Engelbert Humperdinck, is to represent the United Kingdom at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

The 75-year-old singer is best known for his 1967 hit Release Me and is hoping to reverse a slump in fortunes for British acts at this year's event, which will be held on May 26 in Azerbaijan. Humperdinck recently said:

"It's an absolute honor 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!".

By entering this year's Eurovision, Humperdinck will be the oldest contestant to have ever taken part, and if he wins, it'll be the UK's first victory in over fifteen years, when Katrina and the Waves took the title. The song Engelbert is due to perform will be recorded in London, Los Angeles and Nashville, and will be written by Martin Terefe and Sacha Skarbek who co-wrote James Blunt global hit You're Beautiful.

Over his 45-year career, Humperdinck (whose real name is Arnold Dorsey) has sold an around 150 million records worldwide. The Eurovision Song Contest organisers are hoping that Engelbert's participation will boost interest in the event, especially in Britain where it's seen as a cheesy and kitsch. However, the event is taken much more seriously in other European countries and is watched by a television audience of more than 100 million people.