Conchita Wurst returned home to a heroine's welcome in Austria after the bearded drag queen won the Euro­vision Song Contest in what she called a victory over the forces of intolerance, including that of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Sporting high heels, a tight dress, butterfly eyelashes and a full beard, Wurst - whose birth name is Tom Neuwirth - swept to victory with her ballad Rise Like a Phoenix before a global TV audience of about 180 million people in 45 countries.

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Steven Camley's cartoon 

"I share the opinion that this was not a victory just for me but for the people who believe in a future that works without discrimination and is based on tolerance and respect. This transcends borders," said the 25-year-old "queen of Europe".

The UK's entry Molly Smitten-Downes only managed 17th place.

The Danish organisers of Eurovision had declared tolerance a main theme for this year's event