IRELAND LOOKS set to endure a Eurovision to forget in 2019 - but it could be worse.
A Eurovision prediction algorithm has forecast the UK to register a paltry 75 points this year - a total that would leave entrant Michael Rice finishing in the bottom five.
Boffins at spread betting firm StarSpreads.com have factored in variables such past performance, voting patterns and critical reception to make their prediction, which reads grimly for Rice and his song Bigger than Us, providing a prediction for the final score for the first time in the history of betting on the contest.
The predicted result falls neatly into the pattern of recent poor form for the UK - since the voting method was changed in 2016, 75 points will have seen them finish 23rd last year (they ended up 24th out of 26 nations with 62 points), 21st in 2017 (they finished 15th on 111 points) and 22nd in 2016 (when they came 24th with 48 points).
And for those who think the UK still have an outside shot of glory in Tel Aviv, it gets worse as Star Spreads give the UK a measly 0.5% chance of winning, with a 25 per cent chance of finishing BOTTOM of the pile for the third time since 2010.
Eurovision remains one of the biggest non-sport betting events in the calendar, with over £25 million set to be wagered on this year's competition.
The Netherlands are the hot favourites for glory with an almost 50% chance of victory.
A StarSpreads.com spokesman said: "Our calculations make for grim reading for the UK and it looks a certainty that the wait for not only victory but a respectable finish goes on.
"Unless there's to be a huge shock on the night, a score of 75 points leaves Rice in real danger of finishing in the bottom five again, with the threat of another wooden spoon looming large."
"As far a the prediction is concerned, sadly it's more a case of who'll be badder than us, not bigger than us."
"Our Eurovision forecasting algorithm factors in a range of variables and on every single one of them the UK scores amongst the most poorly in the competition, in keeping with our current relationship with Europe."