The musical duo chosen to perform at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest have said they are proud and honoured to represent the UK.
Electro Velvet, consisting of Alex Larke and Bianca Nicholas, will perform the song Still In Love With You, the BBC said.
Alex, 35, and Bianca, 26, will fly the flag in Vienna at the 60th staging of the event in front of an estimated global audience of more than 180 million viewers – and will be hoping to end a catalogue of disappointment for the British entry.
A lack of success in recent years saw former shop assistant Molly Smitten-Downes placing a lowly 17th, Bonnie Tyler finishing 19th and crooner Engelbert Humperdinck placing second to last.
The UK also endured a string of failures in previous years with Javine Hylton, Andy Abraham, Jade Ewen and boyband Blue.
Electro Velvet’s debut song was selected from hundreds of entries received by the BBC following an open selection process inviting anyone who wished to submit a song for consideration.
A variety of amateur and professional writers and performers submitted songs and the up tempo electro-swing track penned by David Mindel and Adrian Bax White was selected as the UK entry.
Alex said: “I feel incredibly privileged and humbled to be representing the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, for this massively historic 60th anniversary event. We have a fantastic song and will work as hard as is humanly possible to bring the contest home and make our great nation proud. It’s time to get this party started! See you in Vienna!”
Bianca said: “I am so proud to have been chosen to be a part of the world’s biggest song contest – Eurovision! It’s such an honour to represent the UK, especially in its 60th year too. I have never been to Austria before, and I can’t wait to get out to Vienna and do my best, and I hope to make the UK proud.”
Guy Freeman, editor special events, said: “I am thrilled that Alex and Bianca will be representing the UK in this year’s competition. Our song for this special anniversary year has an up-tempo beat and an irresistibly catchy hook that is sure to get the party started in Vienna.”
Katie Taylor, UK controller of entertainment production, said: “I am certain Electro Velvet will dazzle in Vienna for Eurovision’s Diamond Anniversary and do the UK proud.”
The contest will take place on Saturday May 23 in Vienna and will be broadcast live on BBC One and BBC One HD, with commentary by Graham Norton, and live on BBC Radio 2 with commentary from Ken Bruce.
Born in Welwyn Garden City, Alex’s passion for music began at the age of 15 when he received a copy of the Oasis album (What’s The Story) Morning Glory. From that moment on, he knew that all that he wanted to do was play guitar, write and sing.
A Rolling Stones fan, he is lead singer for tribute group The Rollin’ Clones, one of the biggest Rolling Stones tribute shows in the world, and loves every minute of being with the band, the music and performing as Sir Mick Jagger.
Bianca was born in Beckenham, Kent, and from an early age was interested in the performing arts. At just five years old, she played the lead role in the Cannes Film Festival award-winning short film, Is It the Design On The Wrapper? and in her early teens she appeared alongside Johnny Depp in the Hollywood blockbuster Sleepy Hollow.
However at 15 she decided she was determined to follow her true passion, music, and sang at a string of high-profile charity events which saw her duet with Will Young, tour with Classical Brit winners Blake and perform for Princes William and Harry as well as the Duchess of Cambridge.
Bianca also sang at the turning on of the Regent Street Christmas lights in 2011 where she performed her debut single Hold On To Your Dreams which was a top 100 single and number one on the iTunes Vocal Chart – a major achievement for an unsigned artist. The single re-entered the vocal chart at number two in 2013 when the Heart FM Breakfast team played the song on air as part of their Have A Heart charity appeal.
More recently, Bianca appeared on The Voice UK in 2014 and her blind audition has now amassed over 250,000 views on YouTube.
Their Eurovision entry has already received support online.