• Germany's news in English
 

German Schadenfreude as Brits get the Hump

Published: 24 May 2012 12:09 GMT+02:00

Humperdinck was interviewed in Germany's mass-circulation Bild newspaper on Tuesday under the provocative headline "Engelbert is our true star for Baku!" ahead of Saturday's clash of the kitsch in the Azerbaijani capital.

The 76-year-old singer, whose career has been revived from a showbiz-coma by the UK's decision to call him up for Eurovision, provoked ancient rivalries by telling the paper, "My blood is English, but my heart beats for Germany. That's why I am singing on Saturday for all Germans, especially for German women!"

To drive home the depth of his feeling for the German nation, Humperdinck posed for a photo draped in the black, red and gold German flag.

Humperdinck's life in show business seemingly stretches back to the last ice age. He began playing the saxophone in UK nightclubs in the 1950s before releasing his first album in 1967. Though his father was a British army officer, his German family connections are as strong as the Queen's. "My grandfather was German, my mother was German," he told Bild. "For my military service I went to Mülheim in the Ruhr region."

The singer, whose real name is Arnold Dorsey, also took his stage name from late 19th - early 20th century Rhineland composer, best known for his children's opera "Hänsel und Gretel."

But a major factor in the crooner's Teutonophilia is his faithful German fanbase – Humperdinck's easy-listening light pop has always been the German's cup of tea, effectively making him the David Hasselhoff of the 1960s and 1970s. In his heyday, Humperdinck was often presented as a Tom Jones' style ladies man, photographed with semi-nude women.

"Later I had some of my biggest successes in your beautiful country, where I still feel at home today," the Hump gushed to the Bild.

The UK's biggest-selling tabloid The Sun professed outrage at the Humperdinck interview, saying that he had "shocked fans" by his "unpatriotic" statements, while one British journalist at a press conference in Baku told him that "he could not sing for two countries."

The singer did his best to assuage The Sun's rage by saying the Bild interview had just been a bit of fun to win German votes for his Eurovision ballad "Love Will Set You Free."

"My mother was German so my blood is half German. But of course my heart belongs to the UK," he hastily told the paper.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

23:55 May 24, 2012 by parografik
My son's pet hermit crab Herbert Grunemeyer died sometime in the last couple days (hard to pinpoint time of death with hermit crabs), and I was thinking of getting him a fresh one. Maybe I can convince him to name it "Arnold Dorsey."
12:20 May 25, 2012 by lordkorner
Ah yes ,the German love affair with crap singers goes on,Hasselhoff can also look forward to a grand old retirement in this land...
21:54 May 25, 2012 by Bruno53
The real Engelbert Humperdink was the German composer of "Hansel und Gretel" opera. Not this idiot.
06:30 June 4, 2012 by dinerouk
YES we know that and that is what it said!: '

The singer, whose real name is Arnold Dorsey, also took his stage name from late 19th - early 20th century Rhineland composer, best known for his children's opera "Hänsel und Gretel."
12:37 June 6, 2012 by Bobo9
Sebastian Vettel prefers Britain....so we should be the ones with the hump!!!
Today's headlines
Drug-related crimes hit ten-year high
Photo: DPA

Drug-related crimes hit ten-year high

The Criminal Investigation Department (BKD) released figures on Tuesday showing that cases of drug-related crimes have risen to the highest number in a decade. READ  

Germany has second-highest surplus in EU
Photo: DPA

Germany has second-highest surplus in EU

Germany reported the second-largest government surpluses as a percentage of GDP in the EU last year and was one of only four countries to stay in the black, according to a report published on Tuesday. READ  

Church fires woman for secret porn career
Photo: DPA

Church fires woman for secret porn career

A woman has taken her former employers, a protestant social welfare organization, to court after they fired her upon discovering she had appeared in porn films. The court rejected her appeal. READ  

Merkel and Tsipras in new one-on-one meet
Merkel and Tsipras at a previous meeting in Berlin in March. Photo: DPA

Merkel and Tsipras in new one-on-one meet

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday on the sidelines of an EU summit, the Athens government said as it continues to wrangle with creditors over a new rescue package. READ  

Opinion
Stop mass deaths in the Mediterranean
Photo: Greek defence ministry/DPA

Stop mass deaths in the Mediterranean

After a boat with more than 900 people on board sank off the Libyan coast on Sunday, Amnesty International's General Secretary for Germany Selmin Çalışkan calls for change in Europe's Mediterranean policy. READ  

Auschwitz defendant admits 'moral guilt'
Oskar Gröning in court in Lüneburg on Tuesday. Photo:DPA

Auschwitz defendant admits 'moral guilt'

Former SS officer Oskar Gröning, dubbed the "accountant of Auschwitz," asked for "forgiveness" over his role in mass murder at the Nazi death camp, as his trial began on Tuesday. READ  

Second World War still key to German identity
US army tanks roll into Cologne. Photo:DPA

Second World War still key to German identity

Seventy years after the end of the Second World War, Germans still feel that they deal with its legacy in everyday life, a survey published on Tuesday shows. READ  

Drugged teenager in high speed Munich chase
Photo: DPA

Drugged teenager in high speed Munich chase

Police in Munich reported on Monday that they had caught a 16-year-old who raced through the city at up to four times the speed limit, on drugs, in a car with stolen number plates – and without a valid driver's license. READ  

How NHS reform will cost Brit expats dear

How NHS reform will cost Brit expats dear

British people living in other European countries could find themselves forced to take out private health insurance due to a clampdown on expats using the country’s National Health Service (NHS).  READ  

Euro parliament leader warns of new shipwrecks
Refugees being picked up by a German freighter in January. Photo: DPA

Euro parliament leader warns of new shipwrecks

“If we don't act now, we'll experience more tragedies” like the one that killed 950 people off the Libyan coast last weekend, European Parliament president Martin Schulz warned on Tuesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,198
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd