Nicky Byrne's Eurovision hopes have got an unexpected boost after one of his semi-final competitors from Romania has been removed from the contest after the national broadcaster failed to pay a debt.

Romania's Ovidiu Anton was one of nineteen acts, along with Nicky, hoping to qualify from the second semi final in Stockholm on May 12. The 24 year old was due to sing the song Moment Of Silence.

However he has now been disqualified after broadcaster Televiziunea Romana (TVR) failed to pay a debt of just under €16m which was owed to the European Broadcasting Union since 2007.

The EBU described the action to exclude Romania from next month's contest as "regrettable" saying that they were disappointed that attempts to resolve the issue had "received no response from the Romanian government".

The running order for the remaining eighteen countries in the second semi-final will remain the same, with Nicky due to perform seventh on the night. Some of the other counties performing in the same semi-final include Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia and FYR Macedonia would traditionally be regarded as favouring Romania which will no longer have a vote in the contest.

Romania first took part in the Eurovision in 1994 and the country has had a strong track record, qualifying for the final every year it took part and coming third twice.

Nicky will perform the track, Sunlight and will be hoping to restore Ireland's once illustrious crown in the singing competition after we failed to qualify for the final for the past two years.

The final will be broadcast on May 14 and will be presented by former host Petra Mede and last year's winner Måns Zelmerlöw.