So this year, the UK is taking a different approach, by putting 75-year-old crooner Engelbert Humperdinck forward to represent the country through song.
His last top 20 hit was in 1972, but The Hump, real name Arnold George Dorsey, will sing for glory against the rest of Europe in Baku, Azerbaijan, on May 26.
And he could be the UK’s secret weapon in the face of political Eurovision voting – last year the singer toured Belgium, Romania, Russia, Israel and the Netherlands.
Best known for his 1967 hit, Release Me, and famed for his big bushy sideburns, Humperdinck has sold more than 150 million albums in a career spanning six decades.
Last year’s entrants for the UK were boy band Blue, who finished 11th, behind Ireland’s Jedward who are due to take part again this year.
Humperdinck, who was born in India and raised in Leicester, said: “It’s an absolute honour to be representing my country for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
“When the BBC approached me, it just felt right for me to be a part of an institution like Eurovision. I’m excited and raring to go and want the nation to get behind me.”