Sophie Ellis BextorImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ellis-Bextor didn’t reveal the reason for her departure

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor has left the UK’s jury for the Eurovision Song Contest.

She had been due to chair the five-strong panel, which helps decide the UK’s scores.

The BBC said she had stepped down due to “unforeseen circumstances”, and a replacement would be chosen shortly.

Ellis-Bextor tweeted: “I still love Eurovision! Wishing all the participants a great show and good luck to the UK entry.”

The jury members judge vocal capacity, performance, song composition and overall impression. The UK only votes in the second semi-final and the final, and the jury counts towards 50% of the UK’s overall scores.

The four other members on the panel are Kylie Minogue’s musical director Pete Watson, radio DJ Adele Roberts, vocal coach Jai Ramage and singer AJ Bentley.

On Wednesday, Australia booked its place in the final of Eurovision for the fifth year running, but Sandstorm DJ Darude missed out on a spot for Finland.

A further 18 countries will take part in the second semi-final on Thursday.

The final will be held in Tel Aviv in Israel on Saturday.

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