Pop star Olly Alexander will represent the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 – and it has put the UK in top spot to win the competition.

The Years and Years lead singer and Bafta-nominated actor confirmed the news during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Final and he has already been named 6/1 favourite to win with Isreal, Sweden and Ukraine on 7/1 and Italy on 8/1. The competition will take place in Malmo, Sweden.

During the Strictly episode, Alexander walked out of a golden doorframe to read the small print about voting in the dance competition. Claudia Winkleman said to the 33-year-old from Harrogate, North Yorkshire: “Now Olly, you have some news for us, and, if it’s alright with you, could we have a drum roll please?”

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing viewers work out celebrity missing from final as they say ‘good’

The drums started and Alexander said: “I do Claudia, I can exclusively reveal I will be representing the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest.” He added with a smile: “What can I tell you? I’m planning it now, it’s going to be spectacular – I love Eurovision so, so, so much, I’m so excited, it’s going to be great” – before shouting “Sweden” alongside Winkleman.

Following the announcement Alexander added: “I’ve loved watching Eurovision ever since I was a little kid and I’m beyond excited to be taking part next year. As a young boy I always looked forward to this incredible event of unbridled joy, the wonderfully chaotic mix of musical styles, theatrical performances, heartfelt emotion and humour.

“I really can’t believe I’m going to be a part of such a special legacy and fly the flag for the UK in the gayest way possible, it shall be an honour! I’ve wanted to do this for a long time and it feels like the right moment to start releasing music under my own name.

“I’m determined to give it everything I’ve got and put on an excellent and unforgettable performance for you all!”

The song he will perform during the 68th Eurovision Song Contest next May has yet to be announced, but the BBC confirmed it was co-written by Alexander and Danny L Harle, who has produced hits for Dua Lipa, Chic and Charli XCX. This year’s contest was won by Swedish singer Loreen meaning next year’s competition will take place in the country and coincide with the 50th anniversary of Abba’s 1974 win with Waterloo.

Pop singer Mae Muller represented the UK this year and scored 24 points with track I Wrote A Song when she performed at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena. The competition opened with a pre-recorded video featuring last year’s winners from Ukraine – Kalush Orchestra – and a surprise appearance from the Princess of Wales, playing the piano.

Over the past decade pop superstar Alexander has scored five top 10 UK singles and two number one albums with his band Years and Years. He has also starred in a number of TV programmes including the last ever series of teen drama Skins and Channel 4’s It’s A Sin, which saw him receive a Bafta nomination in his role as Ritchie Tozer.

All three live Eurovision 2024 programmes – both semi-finals and the grand final – will be broadcast on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on May 7, 9 and 11 in 2024.

A KingCasinoBonus.uk spokesperson said: “The United Kingdom has leapt to become the favourite in the betting to win the 2024 Eurovision after announcing that Years and Years star Olly Alexander will represent the UK in 2024.

“Bettors raced to back the UK to win the song contest following the news and the odds of the United Kingdom winning in Sweden were slashed to 6/1 from 20/1. 2023 winners Sweden, Israel and Ukraine are the joint 7/1 second-favourites, followed by 8/1 shots Italy and Norway at 10/1.

“The popular Olly Alexander is the King of UK pop and may think It’s A Sin if he doesn’t do better than Mae Muller’s disappointing 25th finish in Liverpool in 2023, the UK will be quietly confident that Years and Years without a victory in the song contest are over.”

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