What time is Eurovision 2024 and who is Olly Alexander?

The Years & Years singer is representing us at 2024's contest with his track Dizzy

Olly Alexander representing the United Kingdom during the Eurovision dress rehearsals
Years and Years singer Olly Alexander is hoping to win Eurovision 2024. (AFP via Getty)

Years & Years singer Olly Alexander is preparing to represent the UK at Eurovision 2024 in Sweden this weekend, and things are heating up.

Fans hope the pop star could spark a turnaround in the UK's fortunes at the event, after a run of 27 years without a British winner. The previous UK hopeful, Mae Muller, finished second-last, although Sam Ryder fared much better when he came second in 2022.

But what else do we know about the Eurovision Song Contest 2024? Ahead of the grand final, read on for details about the date, start time, running order and much more.

Loreen from Sweden cheers with the Eurovision trophy
The contest is being held in Malmo after Swedish act Loreen won last year. (Picture Alliance via Getty)

The Eurovision Song Contest 2024's grand final will kick off at 8pm on Saturday, 11 May. The semi-finals took place on Tuesday 7 and Thursday 9 May.

The UK automatically qualifies for the final each year as one of the "Big Five", so traditionally doesn't take part in the semis, thanks to its contributions to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The same typically goes for the hosting country, which this year is Sweden.

However, 2024 is a year of change, and Big Five and Sweden all performed during the semi-finals. Alexander suffered a technical blunder when his mic pack fell off during his performance on Tuesday, so he will hope to avoid a similar issue on Saturday.

The grand final will be hosted live from the Malmo Arena by Swedish stars Malin Akerman and Petra Mede.

Graham Norton wearing a pink suit over a black shirt
Graham Norton will provide commentary for the BBC. (BBC)

The BBC will be providing live coverage of Eurovision.

Graham Norton will once again be narrating the contest live as the UK's commentator on both BBC One and iPlayer. Meanwhile, Scott Mills and Rylan will provide commentary on BBC Radio 2.

Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley gets the task of delivering the UK's votes on behalf of the country's jury.

Irish singer-songwriter Bambie Ray Robinson, aka Bambie Thug at Eurovision 2024
Bambie Thug will represent Ireland at Eurovision 2024. (Getty)

The first semi-finals saw 15 countries compete, with Serbia, Portugal, Slovenia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Finland, Cyprus, Croatia, Ireland and Luxembourg making it through to the final.

Sixteen countries competed in semi-final number two Latvia, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Greece, Estonia, Switzerland, Georgia and Armenia qualifying.

Alexander's early performance won't affect his chances of appearing in the final, with the Big Five and hosting country still automatically qualifying for the main event.

Liverpool hosted Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine, whose Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 contest. However, with the ongoing war in Ukraine, the UK was a stand-in host as Sam Ryder had placed second.

Eden Golan from Israel performs during the Eurovision 2024 semi-finals
Isreal's Eden Golan was booed during her semi-final dress rehearsal performance. (Getty)

A total of 26 different countries will perform at Eurovision 2024, so expect plenty of outlandish costumes and unusual musical styles.

Some acts have already turned heads, with Ireland's Bambie Thug getting people talking with her electro-metal track Doomsday Blues already tipped to win. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how audiences will react to Israel's performance, with their 20-year-old representative Eden Golan booed during her semi-final dress rehearsal.

Explore the full Eurovision 2024 running order below.

  1. Marcus & Martinus (Sweden) – Unforgettable

  2. Alyona Alyona & Jerry Heil (Ukraine) – Teresa & Maria

  3. ISAAK (Germany) – Always On The Run

  4. TALI (Luxembourg) – Fighter

  5. Joost Klein (Netherlands) – Europapa

  6. Eden Golan (Israel) – Hurricane

  7. Silvester Belt (Lithuania) – Luktelk

  8. Nebulossa (Spain) – ZORRA

  9. 5MIINUST x Puuluup (Estonia) – (nendest) narkootikumidest ei tea me (küll) midagi

  10. Bambie Thug (Ireland) – Doomsday Blue

  11. Dons (Latvia) – Hollow

  12. Marina Satti (Greece) – ZARI

  13. Olly Alexander (UK) – Dizzy

  14. Gåte (Norway) – Ulveham

  15. Angelina Mango (Italy) – La Noia

  16. TEYA DORA (Serbia) – RAMONDA

  17. Windows95man (Finland) – No Rules!

  18. iolanda (Portugal) – Grito

  19. LADANIVA (Armenia) – Jako

  20. Silia Kapsis (Cyprus) – Liar

  21. Nemo (Switzerland) – The Code

  22. Raiven (Slovenia) – Veronika

  23. Baby Lasagna (Croatia) – Rim Tim Tagi Dim

  24. Nutsa Buzaladze (Georgia) – Firefighter

  25. Slimane (France) – Mon Amou

  26. Kaleen (Austria) – We Will Rave

Olly Alexander attends the turquoise carpet of the 66th Eurovision Song Contest
Alexander starred in the award-winning Channel 4 drama It's A Sin. (Getty)

Olly Alexander is representing the UK at Eurovision 2024 with his song Dizzy. He wrote the track with producer Danny L Harle, who has worked with the likes of Dua Lipa, Liam Gallagher and Charli XCX.

Alexander is best known for being the lead singer of Years & Years, but has recently launched a solo career and also starred in the award-winning Russell T. Davies drama about the AIDS epidemic, It's A Sin.

Although many other countries enter famous artists in the competition, in recent years UK acts have largely been unknown artists.

Read more: Who will win Eurovision 2024? Latest odds revealed

Alexander said: "I really can’t believe I'm going to be a part of such a special legacy and fly the flag for the UK in the gayest way possible, it shall be an honour! I've wanted to do this for a long time and it feels like the right moment to start releasing music under my own name.

"I'm determined to give it everything I've got and put on an excellent and unforgettable performance for you all!"

Mae Muller during the grand final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2024
Mae Muller finished second-last at Eurovision 2023. (PA via Getty)

When Eurovision arrived in Liverpool in 2023, fans were hopeful that the UK could improve on Sam Ryder's second place success from 2022 and would win favour as hosts.

But Mae Muller did not live up to expectations, placing second last with I Wrote A Song in the contest that was won by Sweden's Loreen.

She did make a slight improvement on the UK's 2021 entrant, James Newman, who placed last.

Katrina And The Waves posing for a photo
Katrina and the Waves won Eurovision in 1997, becoming the last UK act to do so. (PA via Getty)

Sam Ryder's 2022 effort with Space Man which saw him into second place has been by far the UK's biggest success of recent decades.

The last time the UK won the contest was in 1997, when Katrina and The Waves came first with Love Shine A Light.

The four other UK Eurovision winners have been Sandie Shaw, Lulu, Brotherhood of Man and Bucks Fizz.

The Eurovision 2024 final is on BBC One on Saturday, 11 May at 8pm