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Sunday, 20 February, 2000, 21:21 GMT
UK Euro entry has French flavour

Nicki French
Nicki French: Proud to fly the flag

The UK will be represented at this year's Eurovision Song Contest by singer Nicki French after she won BBC One's Song For Europe.

Her song scored the highest number of votes in a phone poll held after four competing numbers were performed live on BBC television on Sunday.

Ms French beat off the other hopefuls who appeared on a special programme hosted by Blue Peter presenter Katy Hill.

The total number of votes for Nicki's entry, Don't Play That Song Again, was 47,355.

She said: "I'm so proud to be flying the flag for the UK.

Precious: Last year's British entry came 12th Precious: Last year's British entry came 12th
"I have always wanted to represent my country but I'm no great sportswoman, so Eurovision is my Olympics and I hope that we will bring back the gold medal for Britain this year."

Kevin Bishop, executive producer of Song for Europe 2000 and of the Eurovision Song Contest for the BBC, said: "This is a great result for the UK.

"The song is very strong and Nicki is terrific. She will be going to Stockholm with the whole country behind her."

The Eurovision Song Contest, which will be broadcast live on 13 May, is watched by around 200 million people in 30 countries.

Best known in the UK for her 1995 cover version of Total Eclipse of the Heart, Nicki has spent the past few years touring the world performing tracks from her two albums.

She also appeared as the leading lady in revue shows around Europe, including Oklahoma! and Calamity Jane.

Total Eclipse of the Heart reached number five in the charts in 1995 and number two on the US Billboard chart.

The single hit number one in Australia, Japan, Brazil, Israel, Spain, the Netherlands and Canada.

This year's Eurovision contest takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, on 13 May.

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See also:
21 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
Eurovision loss for PM's daughter
01 Jun 99 |  Entertainment
Sweden in Eurovision heaven
25 May 99 |  Entertainment
Precious are Eurovision favourites
23 May 99 |  Entertainment
Precious prepare for Eurovision
12 Mar 99 |  Entertainment
Precious song for Europe

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