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Eurovision 2018

Last night, for the fourth year in a row, we watched a large chunk of the Eurovision Song Contest as a family, the four of us all in the same room for the first 18 performances. My children’s experience of the contest is similar to my own at their ages. Aged 8 or 9 you stay up for long enough to watch the UK entry. A year or two later you watch every country perform. And eventually you stay up late enough to see all the results come in. These days, with 26 songs to sit through, the whole thing takes a lot longer than in the 1970s, and none of us was awake when Israel were announced as the 2018 winner sometime after 11.30pm. We had an early start this morning (an athletics meeting on the other side of London) so we watched the last few minutes of the results, and Netta’s reprise of “Toy”, on Sunday morning instead.

My childhood recollections of Eurovision are summarized in this piece on the Memories menu. When Cliff Richard was performing “Power to all our friends” in 1973 we were drinking tea and eating banana sandwiches. This year, either side of SuRie performing “Storm”, we ate pizza and I had a couple of beers, and my daughter kept an eye on the show that usually takes up screen time on a Saturday evening, “Britain’s Got Talent”. She was watching it on a laptop for part of the time, with headphones on.

Back in the 1970s we expected the UK to win most years but these days it looks like it might never happen again. There is, at least, some kind of consistency: the UK entrant has finished in the bottom half of the competition (on the right hand side of the finishing table) since long before the children were aware of Eurovision. The fortunes of some of the other countries fluctuate rather dramatically. Portugal, having won for the first time last year, and therefore acting as hosts for this year’s competition, finished in last place.

Earlier this month a question on “Tenable” asked for the last 10 acts to represent the UK at Eurovision, up to and including 2017. I couldn’t remember either of the last two entrants, despite watching their performances, but could remember the previous five. By contrast I could remember the names of every act that represented the UK in the 1970s. Both lists appear after this paragraph. The 2009 representative was Jade Ewen, with a song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Diane Warren. On one of Ken Bruce’s Pop Master quizzes last month he asked for the name of the song. It was the only question I didn’t get that day, costing me a perfect round of 39. The answer also appears below.

The last 10 acts to represent the UK

2017 Lucie Jones
2016 Joe and Jake
2015 Electro Velvet
2014 Molly
2013 Bonnie Tyler
2012 Englebert Humperinck
2011 Blue
2010 Josh Dubovie
2009 Jade Ewen
2008 Andy Abraham

The 10 acts to represent the UK in the 1970s

1970 Mary Hopkin
1971 Clodagh Rodgers
1972 The New Seekers
1973 Cliff Richard
1974 Olivia Newton-John
1975 The Shadows
1976 Brotherhood of Man
1977 Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran
1978 Co-Co
1979 Black Lace

And the song written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Diane Warren, sung by Jade Ewen in 2009 was “It’s My Time”.

Next year in Jerusalem.



2 thoughts on “Eurovision 2018

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