WITH little more than a week to wait before this year's Eurovision Song Contest, the UK's entry who hails from Hartlepool has boarded his flight to Tel Aviv.

Michael Rice was selected from six artists competing in Eurovision: You Decide, the British national selection show for the Eurovision contest, when it was held earlier this year to find the next UK hopeful.

The Hartlepool-born singer secured his place in the finals of the competition with the song Bigger Than Us, which he will be performing live in front of thousands in Israel on May 18.

Ahead of the big night, the 21-year-old with the hopes of the nation of his shoulders, has been treated to VIP experience on his flight to 2019 Eurovision hosts Tel Aviv, courtesy of British Airways.

Michael said: "It’s all starting to feel very real now. I’m so excited to be flying British Airways to Tel Aviv and can’t wait to represent the UK next Saturday."

The North-East performer added he was "living the dream" and encouraged others to believe in themselves and their abilities.

Earlier this week, Michael returned to his old school earlier this week to sing for pupils at St Aidan's Primary.

A British Airways spokesman said: "Our crew will ensure that both Michael Rice and his vocal chords have a relaxing flight and arrive in Tel Aviv well rested and ready to represent the nation"