BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 18 February 2008, 15:12 GMT
Gayle joins Eurovision contenders
Michelle Gayle
Michele had a number four hit in 1994
Ex-EastEnder and singer Michelle Gayle will compete to represent the UK at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

She is one of six acts vying for the honour, including X Factor second series runner-up Andy Abraham.

Girl groups LoveShy and The Revelations and ex-Joseph and Maria hopefuls Rob McVeigh and Simona Armstrong complete the list of candidates.

The winner will be chosen by the public in BBC One show Eurovision: Your Decision on 1 March.

Public vote

Gayle, who played character Hattie Tavernier in EastEnders for three years, went on to launch a pop career after leaving the show in 1993.

She was best known for the single Sweetness which went to number four in the UK Top 40 in 1994.

This year the six acts are split into three categories and will compete head-to-head.

After each performance the panel of three judges will decide which act from each category will go through to the next round to compete for the public vote along with a wildcard.

Terry Wogan
For the past few years, we've been picking a turkey for the UK
Sir Terry Wogan

If the other two judges are unable to agree on which act should go through, Sir Terry Wogan will have the casting vote.

The two successful acts with the lowest public vote will immediately leave the competition and the remaining two will sing again for their chance to go to Belgrade for the 53rd annual sing-off on 24 May.

Sir Terry will be joined by Claudia Winkleman to host the two-part show.

"A turkey is one of the contenders for this year's Irish entry. For the past few years, we've been picking a turkey for the UK," said Sir Terry.

"Let's hope that the British public will make the right decision this year, and give the UK's entry a fighting chance against the Eastern Bloc, in Belgrade in May," he added.

Last year's contest to choose the UK's Eurovision entry hit the headlines after Sir Terry mistakenly declared singer Cyndi as the winner.

Four-piece group Scooch had actually won the public vote, going on to perform Flying The Flag (For You) in Helsinki and finishing 23rd out of 24 competitors.

SEE ALSO
Eurovision gaffe 'not technical'
19 Mar 07 |  Entertainment
Gaffe mars Scooch Eurovision win
18 Mar 07 |  Entertainment
Euro hopefuls rate their chances
28 Feb 07 |  Entertainment

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific