HE might have got ‘nul points’ from the vast majority of international judges and viewers, but Hartlepool’s Michael Rice still did himself proud as he represented the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night.

Singing ‘Bigger Than Us’, Mr Rice finished in last position in Tel Aviv, scoring just 16 points. Don’t worry though Michael, we thought you outperformed the vast majority of your rivals.

Saturday’s flop was hardly unexpected given the UK’s performance at Eurovision over the last decade. It is now 22 years since the UK last claimed the Eurovision crown, and in the last ten years, no UK performer has finished in the top ten.

Does that matter? Most people follow the late Terry Wogan’s lead and regard Eurovision as a somewhat naff piece of light entertainment that should not be taken too seriously.

In these politically-charged times where seemingly anything can be viewed in the prism of Brexit, however, there are those who point to the UK’s dreadful Eurovision record as proof that mainland Europe does not really like us.

While other countries club together to award each other high scores, the UK stands isolated without partners or friends.

Surely, in the week of the European Parliamentary elections, that is taking things too far.

Bemoan the Eurovision voting system by all means, but do not use it as proof that we are not wanted in Europe. It is just a singing contest after all.