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Russia bans parade honouring Conchita Wurst

The authorities in Moscow have turned down an application for a parade in honour of the winner of the Eurovision song contest, Conchita Wurst.

Conchita Wurst performing the song 'Rise Like a Phoenix'. Credit: Associated Press

The head of Moscow's security department, Alexei Maiorov, reportedly said celebrating the Austrian drag queen could lead to clashes between gay activists and their opponents.

The Interfax agency also quoted Mr Maiorov claiming the need to "respect morality in the education of the younger generation" meant the parade could not go ahead.


Molly Smitten-Downes to represent UK at Eurovision

Unknown singer Molly Smitten-Downes has been unveiled as the hopeful who BBC chiefs believe could help to raise the UK's flagging fortunes after recent flops at Eurovision.

Molly Smitten-Downes Credit: BBC/PA Wire

The 26-year-old from Leicestershire has been chosen to perform her self-written song Children Of The Universe.

She will compete in front of a potential TV audience of 120 million at the contest in Copenhagen on May 10.

"To represent the United Kingdom in such a huge competition, not only as a singer and performer but as a songwriter is an unbelievable honour. I hope I can do us proud," the singer said.

Molly Smitten-Downes has been writing songs for a decade and has supported acts such as Jake Bugg, Tinie Tempah and Labrinth.

Little-known singer tipped to be UK's Eurovision entry

Unknown singer Molly Smitten-Downes is being tipped as the UK's entry for Eurovision as the BBC ditches its recent strategy of enlisting veteran stars for the annual music bash.

"We took the view that we needed a bespoke, contemporary song, written specifically to suit the conditions of the competition - rather than trying to get lucky with a pre-existing track from an artist," the BBC's executive producer for Eurovision, Guy Freeman, said in a blog.

BBC bosses will be hoping to fare better than recent years with last year's entry Bonnie Tyler finishing in a lowly 19th position.

A year earlier Engelbert Humperdinck's place was even more disastrous when he came 25th out of a field of 26.

The UK's entry will be announced officially tonight.

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