IT’S the annual international music extravaganza that people love to hate and this year Eurovision has a special link to one Hampshire town.

While Israeli city Tel Aviv prepares to host the 64th Eurovision Song Contest this week, most people living in Totton will have no idea about the connection between one of its former residents and the Moldovan entry.

So even if the United Kingdom gets ‘nul points’ again this year, local music lovers can always get behind the Eastern Europeans instead.

Georgios Kalpakidis began his song writing career 18 years ago using a second-hand computer purchased from a local family run shop Platt & Knight while posting numerous demo recordings around the globe from nearby Water Lane Post Office.

Returning to his native Thessaloniki in Greece in 2003 to continue his TV presenting career, Georgios started to get noticed by singers across Europe who wanted to record his compositions.

This led to his songs appearing as album tracks, but with limited chart success as singles. Now Georgios has co-written Stay, which will be performed in Israel by Anna Odobescu.

Unlike the United Kingdom, which has automatic entry to the Eurovision Grand Final, Stay has to qualify from the second semi-final which will be held on Thursday.

This is not the first time Totton has found itself represented at the Eurovision Song Contest. Dorset-based choreographer Chrissy Wickham, whose late mother was also a local councillor, grew up in the town before joining Arlene Phillips’ dance troupe, Hot Gossip, during the 1970s.

After leaving Hot Gossip, Chrissy concentrated on developing her own choreography skills and created the skirt-ripping routine that brought Eurovision success to the United Kingdom with Bucks Fizz and Making Your Mind Up in 1981.