Eurovision 2019: Hartlepool's Michael Rice appears on Saturday Kitchen live from Tel Aviv ahead of tonight's performance

Hartlepool's Michael Rice rubbed virtual shoulders with former UK Eurovision contestants as he appeared live from Tel Aviv on the BBC's Saturday Kitchen programme this morning.

Saturday, 18th May 2019, 11:53 am
Michael Rice

The 21-year-old singing sensation, who is representing the UK at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, chatted live on air to host Matt Tebbutt and Eurovision veterans The Fizz, SuRie and Sonia, on the Saturday morning cooking magazine show via satellite link from Israel, where the competition is taking place.

Matt Tebbutt complimented the young star on his composure ahead of the competition.

Michael Rice

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"You don't look nervous at all - can I just point out there will be 184million people tuning in to see you sing," he told Michael.

The singer replied: "This year (the venue itself) has a much more intimate stage, where others have been really big. So it's going to be nice to have a smaller crowd."

He added: "(Rehearsals) have been absolutely amazing. We've had a few technical difficulties, which every artist does, but yesterday's performance was absolutely incredible and then today is just going to be great. I'm going to go out there and just smash it."

Michael said he had been enjoying getting to know the other acts, and was particularly fond of the Netherlands, Greek and Spanish entries.

"There are so many great songs this year," he said.

BBC DJ Scott Mills, who appeared alongside Michael on the broadcast from Tel Aviv, said the pair had been having a great time in the Israeli party city, including trying some of the fantastic food there is on offer.

Michael added: "There's so many nice foods you can have here. I want to come back here for a holiday and just chill. The people are so nice as well."

The pair confirmed Madonna was due to perform as part of tonight's programme, and she had been rehearsing - though the venue had been cleared to allow rehearsals to take place and preserve the secrets of her performance.