United Kingdom

#UK: How have the UK fared when hosting Eurovision ?

It’s well know by now that Mae Muller will be representing the UK on home soil in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool and will be singing last in the running order in the Grand Final. The UK has hosted the contest eight times previously , both as the previous year’s winner and as a stand in due to the previous year’s winning country being unable to host the following year, as has happened with Ukraine this year. Being on stage at the contest in your own country does of course , have advantages; it’s not so far and expensive to travel to and there’s the advantage of having the home crowd in the arena behind you to cheer you on . But…….does this always bring a successful result? We at Eurovision Ireland decided to look back and see how previous UK “home acts” have done ” .

Bryan JohnsonEurovision 1960

In 1960 ,the UK hosted due to The Netherlands, the previous year’s winner , as the country had declined the offer to host , due to having only recently held the contest in 1958. The contest was held at the Royal Festival Hall in London ,hosted for the first of four times overall by Katie Boyle a British actress and presenter. Bryan Johnson represented the UK with his song “Looking high, high, high”. He finished second , emulating his brother, Teddy Johnson, who had represented the UK in 1959 with his wife, Pearl Carr , with “Sing little birdie”.

Ronnie Carroll -Eurovision 1963

The UK again hosted in 1963, after the previous year’s winner, France declined to host for financial reasons.The contest was held at the BBC Television Centre in London on Saturday 23rd March 1963. hosted by the late , great Katie Boyle. for a second time . Ronnie Carroll represented the UK with “Say wonderful things”. He finished a very respectable 4th place, losing out to Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann and their song “Dansevise”,

Cliff Richard -Eurovision 1968

The UK hosted the 1968 contest in their own right, having won the previous edition in Vienna the previous year with Sandie Shaw and “Puppet on a String”.London played host again with the contest being held at the Royal Albert Hall , again hosted by Katie Boyle.Cliff Richard represented the host nation with his now timeless classic “Congratulations”. He came second, losing out to Spain’s Massiel and her song “La,la la” by one point .

The New Seeker-Eurovision 1972 ( Edinburgh )

The UK agreed to host the 1972 edition of the contest as the previous year’s winner, Monaco were unable to meet the demands of hosting the event . This time the contest was taken up North to Edinburgh , hosted by Scottish ballet dancer , Moira Shearer .The UK were represented by The New Seekers , with “Beg, steal or borrow”.Once again the UK came in second place , losing out to Vicky Leandros with “Apres -toi”.

Olivia Newton-John -Eurovision 1974( Brighton)

Once again the UK played host in 1974 as Luxembourg declined to host for a second successive year on the grounds of expense. The contest was held at the Brighton Dome in Brighton and was once again ( and for the final time ) hosted by Katie Boyle.Olivia Newton-John was the home nations representative with “Long live Love”. She came 4th , with the winners that year being a certain Swedish group-Abba .

Lyndsey de Paul & Mike Moran -Eurovision 1977 ( London )

The UK won the right to host the contest with Brotherhood of Man’s victory in The Hague the previous year . with “Save your kisses for me”. The contest was held at the Wembley conference centre in London, hosted by Angela Rippon.Lyndsey de Paul and Mike Moran represented the host nation following their victory in the UK national final that year , with the song “Rock Bottom”. They were one of the pre contest favourites to win but once again, the UK came in at second place, losing out to France with Marie Myriam and “L’oiseau et l’enfant”.

Bardo -Eurovision 1982( Harrogate )

In 1982, the UK again won the right to host following Bucks Fizz’s victory the previous year in Dublin, with “Making your Mind up”. Bardo won the right to represent the home nation at the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest with the venue , being taken away from London back up North, this time to the town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire and hosted by Jan Leeming. They finished 7th, with the contest being won that year by Germany with Nicole’s gentle song “A little Peace”.

Imaani -Eurovision 1998 ( Birmingham )

Following the victory of Katrina and the Waves with their anthemic song, “Love , shine a Light” in Dublin in 1997, the UK again played host in its own right , with the UK’s second city, Birmingham being chosen as the host city and hosted by Terry Wogan and Ulrika Jonsson. Imaani had the honour of representing the nation on home soil with her song “Where are you ? ” and came very close to achieving a back to back win for the UK , finishing second to the winner Israel, who took victory in a close fought contest with the song “Diva”

Mae Muller -Eurovision 2023 ( Liverpool)


History shows that overall, the UK have generally received a good result when hosting the Eurovision Song Contest . The question is now…..can Mae Muller maintain this good record? We’ll have to wait until 13th May to find out ! In the meantime here is the song she will be singing on home soil in Liverpool “I wrote a song”.

Author: Sarah Rudman

Source: You Tube Eurovision Ireland Eurovision.TV

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