United Kingdom and the Eurovision Song Contest

This weekend sees Eurovision head to Turin in Italy, after Måneskin, an Italian rock band won and the UK, represented by James Newman, came a disappointing last with ‘nul points’. The only other time the UK received this honour was when Liverpool duo, Jemini performed Cry Baby in 2003, but we haven’t always done this bad in Eurovision, here are some of the highlights…

Puppet On A String – Sandie Shaw

The UK won the Eurovision Song Contest for the very first time with Puppet On A String in 1967, sung by Sandie Shaw, when the show was held in Vienna.

Sandie appeared on a TV show and sung six songs and although she said Puppet On A String was her least favourite it was chosen to represent the UK.

The song became her third UK number one and topped the charts all around Europe.

The song won comfortably, collecting nearly double the points as the second placed song.

Boom Bang-a-Bang – Lulu

Our second victory came in 1969 with Lulu singing Boom Bang-a-Bang in Madrid.

This year was unique in that there were four joint winners: the UK, Spain, Netherlands and France.

The single made number 2 in the UK charts and was a major hit throughout Europe.

Save Your Kisses For Me – Brotherhood Of Man

We had to wait until 1976 at The Hague in The Netherlands before we won it again with Save Your Kisses For Me by The Brotherhood Of Man.

It was awarded 12 points by seven countries and finished with 164 points, compared to second placed French entry with 147 points. It stayed at number one in the UK for six weeks and became one of the biggest selling singles of the year.

The song’s lyrics described a man’s feelings as he leaves for work each day, leaving his loved one at home and it’s not until the final line that we find out that it is in fact his three year old child.

Making Your Mind Up – Bucks Fizz

In was another foursome who won in 1981 with Making Your Mind Up.

Bucks Fizz had only been formed two months earlier and won the BBC’s A Song For Europe to represent the UK.

Their performance is probably best remembered for the girls having their skirts whipped off by the boys, revealing a shorter skirt underneath.

Making Your Mind Up reached number one in t he UK and remained there for three weeks, they had a run of 13 UK hits after Eurovision.

Love Shine A Light – Katrina and the Waves

A long 16 years after Buck Fizz’s win, along came Katrina and the Waves who won it in 1997 with Love Shine A Light.

It was a last minute decision for this song to be entered in the Great British Song Contest.

It was written as an anthem for The Samaritans and members, when they heard it, declared that it was the type of song that would win Eurovision.

Love Shine A Light received an average of 9.458 points per country, the third-highest in the history of Eurovision with Save Your Kisses For Me in first place with 9.647 per country. The song scored an impressive 227 points and after the fourth country had voted, remained in the top position throughout the voting.

Honourable Mentions

The UK has finished in second place 15 times since the contest started in 1957, the last time being in 1998 and Imaani with Where Are You? Our track record hasn’t been brilliant since then, but I have faith in our entry for this year: Sam Ryder and Space Man, it’s a brilliant song and is in the top four of the bookie’s favourites.

I’ll be watching on Saturday, no doubt amazed at some of the acts, not understanding what’s going on with others, but enjoying whatever Eurovision throws at us this year!

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