UK Eurovision hope Olly Alexander says local support ahead of Saturday's multi-national singing contest in Sweden has blown him away.

The former Monmouth Comprehensive School pupil from Coleford – who appeared in EastEnders as himself in a cameo last week – will be carrying the hopes of the nation with his song Dizzy, with more than 160 million people expected to tune in.

And with the Years and Years chart-topper's home town organising a Eurovision Watch at the Studio Cinema, Olly has told fans back home he is "very touched" by their support, with many sending messages, including his former primary school St John's CofE Academy.

"It blows my mind," said the 33-year-old, who is being supported at the competition in Malmo by mum Vicki, a co-founder of the town's annual music festival where Olly performed in his younger days.

"There's just some really lovely, really beautiful people in that part of the world," Olly told the BBC.

"My mum's actually been telling me how she went and got her nails done and she got little 'dizzy' symbols on her nails. She was saying they've all gone Dizzy mad."

A lifesize cut out of Olly has even appeared in Coleford's Forest Deli shop, while hundreds will be packing in to the town's cinema on Saturday (May 11) to watch a live screening of the finals.

Olly peformed the song as part of the semi-finals broadcast on Tuesday night (May 7), but as one of the 'big five' nations, the UK is straight through to the final, with BBC Eurovision host Graham Norton saying we have a great chance of doing well.

It's a boxing-themed performance on a slanted stage, which Olly has decribed as "a post-apocalyptic locker room hurtling through space".

Graham said: “Having a bona fide pop star representing the UK is a great start.

“Olly has already done all the things that it’s impossible to prepare someone for.

“He has played to huge crowds, he can relate to the cameras and he is used to high-pressure situations.

“Add to that the fact the song is a massive bop, and I think we could do really well.”

But Olly, who co-wrote Dizzy with Du Lipa collaborator Danny L Harle, added: "I just want to do my best and put on a performance I can be proud of.

"I want to be able to look back in 30 years and go, 'wow, we did that'.

"I'll never experience anything like this again so I just want to make the most of it.

"The atmosphere is just so exciting. Everywhere you go in the city there's posters for Eurovision, every shop you go into, every cafe has Eurovision merch.

"It's all feeling very real and I can't wait," added Olly, who starred in hit Aids-era drama It’s a Sin and unveiled his own Madame Tussaud’s waxwork last autumn, having appeared in several shows in his school days at Monmouth Comprehensive.