Jason Donovan: I declined UK Eurovision offer

The former Neighbours star and pop singer says he was "unofficially" asked before Engelbert Humperdinck was chosen

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Jason Donovan has revealed that he was “unofficially” asked to represent the UK at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, but declined the approach. 

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The former Neighbours star, who had a string of pop hits in the late 1980s, including a duet with Kylie Minogue, says the idea was suggested shortly after he’d finished taking part in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing competition, in which he came third.  However, he turned down the opportunity because of the “incredible pressure” the UK entrant is put under. 

“Unofficially, I was asked this year to represent the UK at Eurovision,” he said, while co-presenting on London’s Heart FM radio station.

“They actually came up to me and said would I be interested and I declined. Not because Eurovision is what it is, it’s more about the fact that having just come off Strictly and feeling like I was under a bit of a microscope, I didn’t really want to go through that experience again.

“Also, it’s such a big audience and there’s such an incredible pressure. You get one chance, it’s like being an athlete, really. You have to start the blocks and then go. But it wasn’t a tough decision for me.”

Last week it was revealed that 75-year-old crooner Engelbert Humperdinck would represent the UK at this year’s contest, which will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan on 26 May.

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In 2011, boy band Blue came 11th in the contest for the UK, scoring 100 points.  The last time the UK won the Eurovision song contest was in 1997, when Katrina and the Waves triumphed with their song Love Shine a Light.