SINGING and acting star Olly Alexander wowed Strictly's nine million Grand Final viewers on Saturday (December 16), by popping up to reveal that he is the UK's entry in next year's 68th Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden.
The Years and Years chart-topper, who went to Monmouth Comprehensive School, has had hits across Europe, and the nation's fans hope he can win the legendary prize after last year's second to last let down.
Olly was introduced by Claudia Winkleman to read out the terms and conditions for viewers to vote for their Strictly winner, with former Coronation Street star Ellie Leach and pro partner Vito Coppola later revealed as Glitterball winners.
But Claudia then announced that Coleford-raised It's A Sin star Olly had some news of his own.
And grinning from ear to ear, he said: "I can exclusively reveal... I will be representing the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest next year!"
To cheers from the studio audience and congratulated by celebrities and professional dancers, Olly was then asked: "On behalf of everyone, we are so lucky to have you. I know you have to keep these things a secret but can you tell me anything?"
And gay icon Olly, who appeared on Strictly two years ago to perform his Sweet Talker with Galantis, answered: "Oh, what can I tell you? I'm planning it now, it's gonna be spectacular. I love Eurovision so much, it's a dream come true.”
He later teased to BBC News that the song has been written with Danny L Harle, who has produced hits for Dua Lipa, Chic and Charli XCX.
"It’s gonna be electronic, something you can dance to. But yeah, I can’t say much more than that,” he said.
Olly also posted a video on his Years and Years social media announcing the news, stood in front of a London bus, a red phone box and Big Ben.
"Hello Europe and Australia, this is Olly Alexander calling," he says. "I can't believe I am about to say this... but I am the UK entry for Eurovision."
Letting out a scream of delight, he then adds: "I can't believe it, I am so, so, so excited! This is a dream come true. I just can't wait. I will see you all in Sweden next year. It's going to be amazing."
Olly, who unveiled his own waxwork effigy at Madame Tussaud's in London in October, posted with the film: "This was very difficult to keep quiet, omg!! So excited to announce that I’m the UK's Eurovision Song Contest entry for 2024!!!
"I’ve wanted to do this for a long 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!! I shall put on an excellent and unforgettable performance for you all! Let's do this!!!"
In a statement on the official Eurovision Song Contest website, Olly - who began performing in shows like Guys and Dolls at MCS – 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!"
To mark the news, Olly has also changed his social media platform introduction to "Being gay for the UK, Eurovision 2024".