• Germany's news in English
 
German Schadenfreude as Brits get the Hump
Photo: DPA

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
'50 Shades of Grey' to premiere in Berlin
The book comes to the screen Photo: DPA

'50 Shades of Grey' to premiere in Berlin

Smut sensation "50 Shades Of Grey" will receive its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, it was announced Monday. READ  

Man tries to open plane door over Munich
Photo: DPA

Man tries to open plane door over Munich

A man tried to open the emergency door of a plane as it was approaching Munich airport, police reported on Monday. READ  

Reporter sacked over Pegida 'interview'
Last week's Pegida protest in Dresden, which drew a crowd of 15,000 Photo: DPA

Reporter sacked over Pegida 'interview'

An undercover reporter who allowed himself to be interviewed by a rival TV network whilst taking part in an anti-Islamization demonstration in Dresden has been sacked, Spiegel reported Monday. READ  

'We have to take care of Isis victims': minister
A Yazidi woman at a Hannover demonstration against Isis in August.

'We have to take care of Isis victims': minister

The government plans to set up a trauma centre for victims of a mass rape campaign by the Islamic State (Isis) militant group, Overseas Development minister Gerd Müller said on Monday. READ  

Adidas sells three million World Cup shirts
World Cup-winning manager Joachim Löw accepts the award at a gala in Baden Baden on Sunday Photo. DPA

Adidas sells three million World Cup shirts

Football fans have snapped up a total of more than three million replica kits of their world-cup winning heroes, Adidas announced, with much of that boost coming in the run-up to Christmas. The team were also honoured as Germany's "Sportsmen of the Year" on Sunday. READ  

Good news for your Christmas overdraft
Photo: DPA

Good news for your Christmas overdraft

Shoppers who go into the red on their bank account over the Yuletide period have received some early festive good news, with a plan to clarify Germany's complex rules on overdrafts. READ  

Amazon pledge: Xmas pressies will arrive
Striking Amazon workers outside a distribution centre in Leipzig on December 8th. Photo: DPA

Amazon pledge: Xmas pressies will arrive

Online retailer Amazon said on Monday that walkouts at distribution centres across the country wouldn't affect Christmas orders as the strike spread across Europe. READ  

Armed heist at Berlin's top department store
The aftermath of the raid at Berlin's luxury department store Photo: DPA

Armed heist at Berlin's top department store

Stunned shoppers looked on in horror as masked robbers made a daylight raid at Germany's most exclusive department store on the busiest shopping day before Christmas. READ  

Security tests find holes at Frankfurt airport
Security checks at Frankfurt airport in July 2014. Photo: DPA

Security tests find holes at Frankfurt airport

Weapons and dangerous objects were successfully smuggled through security checks 50 percent of the time at Frankfurt airport, in a probe by European Commission inspectors, it emerged on Sunday. READ  

Breakfast stumble costs Berlin giraffe her life
Kibaya before her fatal fall Photo: DPA

Breakfast stumble costs Berlin giraffe her life

One of Berlin Zoo’s most popular attractions has had to be put down, after tearing a muscle in her leg. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Willy Brandt at his inauguration in 1972. Photo: DPA
National
Willy Brandt: the man, the chancellor... the airport?
Dresden skyline and river by night. Photo: DPA
Politics
What does Dresden have against Muslims?
Sponsored Article
Why are these International Baccalaureate students cheering?
Germany's national football team lifts the World Cup trophy
Gallery
Germany's most-Googled words of 2014
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
Photo: DPA
National
This German was abducted and tortured by the CIA
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Stuff your face with these festive German cookies
Photo: DPA
Culture
What do beer, breakfast cereal and dildos have in common?
Culture
The Local's guide to German Christmas markets
Sponsored Article
Top five quirky Christmas jumpers
Photo: DPA
Culture
Get ready for Christmas like a German. We tell you how.
Photo: DPA
Munich
She did what with her dead mother?
Photo: DPA
National
Germany still paying for crisis fall out
Photo: DPA
Culture
Saxon wurst is the worst, Christmas market declares.
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,130
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists.
Details and how to apply
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd