Meet Olly Alexander: The ‘Dizzy’ing talent representing UK at Eurovision 2024

Channeling David Bowie with Sam Smith energy, here's what we know about Olly Alexander

eurovision song contest 2024

by Akhila Thomas |
Updated on

A 25-year-old Olly Alexander once said in an interview with Advocate, “I grew up loving artists like the Spice Girls and Britney Spears, artists who seemed to live this fantasy lifestyle, and I remember always wanting to join these fantasy people in that world. But as I got older I began to think, maybe I really could be a singer or musician.” Alexander who is 33 now and has just performed his original song ‘Dizzy’ at the semi-finals of Eurovision 2024 would certainly make his younger self proud.

The artist released his Eurovision entry track ‘Dizzy’ on March 1, 2024 with an official video that set the visual aesthetics of the catchy dance number. The pulsating beats coupled the passionate lyrics and the ‘dizzy’ing’ spinning of his surroundings in a manner that resonates the emotional turmoil of desire and longing was brilliantly captured in Olly Alexander’s live performance at the semi-finals.

Olly Alexander representing Great Britain with the entry song 'Dizzy'

However, he did face a wardrobe malfunction during the act which drew criticism from fans who shared their concern about his “shaky vocals”. His mic tucked into his trousers fell off and the singer was seen improvising his moves while holding onto it throughout the performance. Following the backlash, Olly Alexander broke his silence about the incident in an interview on ITV’s morning show Lorraine.

"This whole Eurovision experience is wild. It was my first time performing in the arena and on TV. There was the slight wardrobe malfunction where my mic pack fell off and I had to improvise but that’s fine, it’s live TV, it happens!”

He also shared that the support he is receiving from his family, friends and hometown is immense. He shared that he was touched by his mum, Vicki Thornton’s sweet gesture of getting her nails done with little ‘dizzy’ symbols on them and that the whole of his hometown has gone ‘Dizzy mad’.

This year’s semi-finals witnessed live performances by artists from the Big Five countries - France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom for the first time ever. When asked about his feelings on performing at the grand finale in an interview with BBC, he said that he was focused on delivering a performance he 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,” he added.

How did Olly Alexander get famous?

The artist’s rise to stardom was through a series of events that is straight out of a rom-com where Olly, our main character was scouted to join the band, Years & Years after Mikey Goldsworthy, who went on to become his bandmate, once heard Olly Alexander sing in the shower in 2010.

Olly Alexander performs as part of Years & Years
©Jim Dyson

Once the band was formed, they topped the charts with multiple hits such as ‘King’ and ‘Shine’ following which Alexander released his first solo album titled ‘Night Call’ in 2022 which took his fans by storm.

Olly Alexander movies and tv shows

The singer actually started his career as an actor before he got into music. In 2008, he starred in ‘Summerhill’, a British children's television drama and later went on to star in hits like ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘The Riot Club’. He also gained attention for his role as Ritchie Tozer in the acclaimed British mini-series ‘It’s A Sin’, a show about gay men and their lives during the period between 1981 and 1991.

Olly Alexander with the cast of 'Its A Sin' ©Kate Green

Olly Alexander as a fashion icon

The artist definitely does not shy away from bold looks and making memorable fashion statements. Every time Olly Alexander gets on stage, he makes sure he serves vocals and visuals. Playing with colours, prints and cuts, his take on queer aesthetics and fluid fashion is quite cutting edge as it perfectly captures his persona as a performer, actor and activist who has never shied away from defending queer rights and truly expressing himself.

Olly Alexander performs during 'Fashion In Motion: Harris Reed', a live show featuring highlights from Reed's collections
Olly Alexander performs during 'Fashion In Motion: Harris Reed', a live show featuring highlights from Reed's collections ©Dave Benett

His approach has always been down-to-earth with the artist once rounding up fashion students from Ravensbourne university to design costumes for his stage performances. The star is said to have requested for his outfits to be “colourful and bold with an element of fantasy” and he also wanted them to be genderless because “I don’t really feel like a gender on stage”, he added in his brief.

Who can forget the iconic sheer number he donned for his duet with Sir Elton John for the 2021 Brit Awards as they performed ‘It’s a Sin’ together?


The young singer also made history at Glastonbury 2019 with a heartfelt pride speech as he shared his experience of growing up gay and the importance of talking about personal experiences.

Emphasising the significance of representation and seeing queer people in the limelight he said, “I’m sure some people wish I would shut up about it sometimes, but some of my reasons to talk about it a lot are personal, because I spent such a long time wishing I wasn’t gay, being ashamed of that, so now it’s like I’m making up for lost time, you know?”

Is Olly Alexander's mum famous?

Olly Alexander’s mum Vicki Thornton is a big name in the music industry as well as the co-founder of the Coleford Music Festival in the Forest of Dean. Her reaction to the news that her son was going to perform at Eurovision was the sweetest and it was shared in an interview with BBC.

“Music is his first love and my boy honed his performing skills at the Coleford Music Festival as a young singer."

She also shared that it was hard to keep their excitement about the news to themselves until it was public.

With the final showdown of Eurovision 2024 coming up, Olly Alexander is set to face performers like Ireland’s Bambie Thug, Lithuania’s Silvester Belt and Serbia’s TEYA DORA along with top artists from the Big Five countries as well. Recent criticisms does not seem to have dimmed Alexander’s sparkle as he is gearing up for his performance. The live show is set to air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Saturday 11th May at 8pm, so stay tuned!

Akhila Thomas is a digital writer at With a background in literature and communication, she loves writing about beauty, fashion, food, culture and lifestyle. She is an avid reader, and a good plot can keep her up for hours. She also likes to travel and explore new cultures and cuisines.

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