Punk band with learning disabilities to represent Finland at Eurovision

Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat (PKN) were chosen in a public vote. Credit: Reuters

A Finnish punk band whose members have autism and Down's Syndrome has been chosen by the public to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest.

PKN - which stands for Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivatwere (Pertti Kurikka's Nameday) - were selected this weekend and will perform the song Aina Mun Pitaa (Always I Have To) at the Vienna showpiece in May.

The track, which runs to just 85 seconds, deals with doing things in life you might not enjoy, such as washing up or healthy eating.

“If Finland wasn’t ready before for a punk Eurovision entry, they are now," one of the band's members, Sami Helle, told the Guardian before the result.

We don’t want people to vote for us to feel sorry for us, we are not that different from everybody else – just normal guys with a mental handicap.

Sami Helle, PKN bass player

The band formed in 2009 around guitarist Pertti Kurikka, who was joined by Helle on bass, vocalist Kari Aalto, and drummer Toni Valitalon.

So far PKN have released five EPs and an album, and toured internationally - including visits to the US and UK.

They have already been ranked among the favourites for the competition by a number of bookies, and could follow the success of controversial metal band Lordi - which famously won the competition for Finland in 2006.