PLANS are underway for Coleford to host a Giant Watch Party for the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday, May 11, in support of local star Olly Alexander, who is representing the UK with his club anthem Dizzy.

The free event at the Studio Cinema is for local residents to show the town’s support for the Years and Years chart-topper and It's a Sin actor, who grew up in the town and attended St John’s Primary and Monmouth Comprehensive School.

TV crews have been swarming all over Coleford – where Olly's mum Vicki Thornton, who has appeared on Celebrity Gogglebox with her son, still lives – in the run up to the multi-national extravanganza.

Olly Alexander and his biggest fan, mum Vicki, on Celebrity Gogglebox
Olly Alexander and his biggest fan, mum Vicki, on Celebrity Gogglebox (Celebrity Gogglebox)

And town mayor and local music promoter Cllr Nick Penny said: “Coleford Town Council are extremely proud of Olly, and all that he has achieved.

"When we heard that he was to be the official UK entry for Eurovision 24 with his song Dizzy, we immediately set about planning an event to help the town get behind Olly and hopefully celebrate the success of his performance.

"We want the evening to be fun, so we are encouraging residents to pick a country and arrive in fancy dress and are even on the look out for a host to keep us entertained throughout the evening.”

Olly Alexander
Olly Alexander (Olly Alexander)

Performing in his home town is not a new thing for Olly who started his musical journey winning the Coleford Music Festival talent competition back in the early 2000s before going on to perform on various stages at the event.

"We believe this is possibly his first time on a big screen in his own town though," said Nick.

Olly’s mum Vicki, a former professional singer who helped found the festival, and who is going to be watching live at the star-studded event in Sweden, added: “I am so incredibly proud of Olly for many, many reasons; his achievements have been amazing and now he gets to live out his childhood dream of representing the UK at Eurovision 24, with his fab song Dizzy!

"It makes me really happy to know that his hometown of Coleford will be supporting him on May 11. I shall be there in spirit, but in reality I shall be screaming from the rooftops at the Eurovision in Malmo – come on Olly!”

Lucky residents have already received their tickets for the Watch Party event .

But it is hoped that town centre businesses will also also get behind Olly and the contest and decorate their windows in a Eurovision theme.

Olly with Eurovision host Graham Norton
Olly with Eurovision host Graham Norton (BBC)

Olly, who unveiled his own waxwork at Madame Tussaud’s in London last October, then appeared on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing final to announce he was the UK’s Eurovision entry.

He was back in front of the camera’s on the BBC Breakfast sofa last Wednesday to talk about his hopes for Dizzy, and picked up a new skill when nine-year-old ‘super Cooper’ Wallace – who won the European screeching championship in Belgium impersonating seagulls – taught him how to make the sound.

Olly, who will surely be more tuneful when the iconic singing competition starts, has also revealed that he will be appearing in EastEnders as himself later this month (May), in a cameo role based on him rehearsing his performance nearby.

The singer, who starred in productions of Guys and Dolls and The Caucasian Chalk Circle as a pupil at Monmouth Comprehensive, will be given a hero's welcome when he pops into the Old Vic pub.

And he said: "I’m thrilled to be making my first appearance on EastEnders and in the most iconic pub in the UK. I’m so happy I got to meet some true screen legends and spend time on set with the brilliant cast and crew. 

"I wanted to surprise my mum as it’s her favourite show, but I guess the cat is out of the bag now, she’s gonna love it!"