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Olly Alexander to Represent the UK For Eurovision 2024

Here’s all you need to know about what Olly has in store for the UK

Olly Alexander performing in 2019 - Shutterstock/Ben Houdijk

The former Years & Years star has been announced to represent the UK in the 68th Eurovision Contest. The event is scheduled to take place in Sweden in May 2024.

The news that Olly Alexander will be representing the country was announced at the final of the popular BBC One show Strictly Come Dancing. Millions of viewers were watching when the announcement was made.

When interviewed backstage by the BBC after the announcement, Olly said “I’ve wanted to do this for a really really long time”.

He discusses that Eurovision feels like a “spiritual homecoming” and has been a fan since he was a young child watching with his family.

What song will be performed?

Fans on Twitter have been speculating on what song will be performed at the contest, with many agreeing they have worked out the ‘Easter eggs’ in the video. Using the announcement, fans have conspired that the entry may be titled ‘Dizzy’.

Olly had hinted himself that the song was going to be “something you can dance to,” and it has been released that Alexander and Danny L Harle co-wrote it. Harle is a popular producer in the electro-pop world, writing for the likes of Dua Lipa and Charli XCX.

The UK came second to last with Mae Muller’s entry last year, however. Fortunately, Years & Years is popular around Europe, which may see many favour Olly as a contestant.

The UK last won Eurovision in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves “Love Shine a Light” and has won five times in general since the contest began in 1956. Hopefully, this year may be the first win for the UK in over 25 years.

More about Olly

Brought up in North Yorkshire, Olly studied performing arts at Hereford College of Arts. He began acting in some films whilst also performing in the West End, and gained his first agent when auditioning for a part in the British TV series Skins.

Years & Years then formed in 2010 where he joined as the lead vocalist. Other band members included Mikey Goldsworthy, Emre Türkmen, Noel Leeman and Olivier Subria. The band went on to achieve a number one with the release of the song ‘King’ and also certified Gold for their track ‘If You’re Over Me’. In total, they produced three albums and toured three times between 2015 and 2022.

Olly has recently started to pursue a solo career, now making the band Years & Years his project as of 2021. In an interview he said that the band ‘had changed so much’ and they started to have different ideas creatively. Therefore it made sense for the band to go their separate ways.

Aside from his music career, he hosted BBC Radio One’s Future Sounds show after Annie Mac left in July 2021. He hosted the show that August alongside Charli XCX, YUNGBLUD, Arlo Parks and Tom Grennan.

He also starred in the hit show Its A Sin in 2021, having featured as Richie Tozer. The drama concentrates on the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s and was given raving reviews for it’s raw and emotional depiction. The show won Best New Drama at the National Television Awards and Olly was also nominated for Leading Actor at the 2022 BAFTA Television Awards.

Olly has also collaborated with Sir Elton John, for the show It’s A Sin where they covered Pet Shop Boys’ song ‘It’s a Sin’. All proceeds for the song’s cover went to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Sir Elton made a post congratulating Olly on the Eurovision news. Alongside a snap of the two, he said: “Look forward to seeing you fly the flag for the UK and bring your incredible talent to the song contest.”

Olly has also been displayed in Madame Tussauds in London, making him a prominent part of British pop culture and a great choice for Eurovision.

More on Eurovision 2024

It will be the seventh time Sweden has hosted the contest, after winning in 2023 with the song “Tattoo” by Loreen. Thirty-seven countries are set to compete this year, with Luxembourg returning after last competing in 1993.

The contest will be held in Malmo Arena, where it was also held in 2013. The first two semi-finals are scheduled for the 7th and 9th May, with the final on the 11th.

Some other artists that have been announced for this year’s competition are:

Slovenia – Raiven

Netherlands – Joost Klein

Greece – Marina Satti

France – Slimane

Albania – Besa

Belgium – Mustii

Czechia – Aiko

Cyprus – Silia Kapsis

With more to be artists to be announced in early 2024, alongside the location of the Turquoise Carpet.

Olly Alexander (Years & Years) Sanctify – YouTube/YearsAndYearsVEVO

Recent Controversy

In recent weeks, however, the BBC has been urged to drop Olly as the contestant. This comes after he signed a letter by LGBTQ+ action group Voices4London which called for a ceasefire in Gaza and detailed Israel an ‘apartheid regime’.

The letter read,

“We are watching a genocide take place in real-time. Death overflows from our phone screens and into our hearts. And, as a queer community, we cannot sit idly by while the Israeli government continues to wipe out entire lineages of Palestinian families. We cannot untangle these recent tragedies from a violent history of occupation. Current events simply are an escalation of the state of Israel’s apartheid regime, which acts to ethnically cleanse the land. Since the violent creation of the state 75 years ago, the Israeli military and Israeli settlers have continued to terrorise Palestinian people.”

A spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in London has reportedly said that there was a “major cause of concern” that the BBC had chosen Olly to represent the country. He criticized the BBC for failing to adhere “to the standard of due impartiality.”

The BBC has also been under fire from the Conservative party, where a source has allegedly accused the corporation of “either a massive oversight or sheer brass neck” in choosing Alexander.

The BBC is yet to respond to the situation, and it seems likely that Olly will remain representing the UK in the competition.

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