Engelbert: ‘Age has nothing to do with singing’

Engelbert Humperdinck says age won’t prevent him winning the Eurovision Song Contest for Great Britain this year.

The 76-year-old singer is leaving behind his typically English stately home in Leicestershire, which comes complete with its own pub, for Baku, Azerbaijan, and hopes to fly the flag for the country with his song Love Will Set You Free.

Speaking at his home, Engelbert said: “I think it has a very strong chance because it was written by two very good people. Sacha Skarbek, an Ivor Novello-winning writer, and Martin Terefe, who’s a great producer and a great writer.

“I haven’t been to Baku before, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve seen a film about it and it looks and sounds very exciting. It’s a new place for me and any place that’s new is great.”

The singer, who was born in India and moved to Leicester with his family when he was 10, is travelling to Baku to practise ahead of the grand final on May 26.

There will be two semi-finals taking place ahead of the grand finale, but the UK has managed to bypass these and qualify automatically as one of the five biggest financial contributors to the competition, along with France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Answering his critics, who have voiced concern about his age, Engelbert said: “I don’t think age has got anything to do with the singing, with the contest. It’s not a talent competition, it’s a song contest and because of my experience of travelling around the world and being an ambassador for my country, I think it stands a good chance.”