In a couple of months, there’ll be the annual media hype about the next Eurovision song contest. This is one of the world’s longest running televised programmes which first took place in 1956. Since then there have been 61 Eurovision winning songs, one for each year, except in 1969 when the points system left the contest with four winners.
Every year the Eurovision song contest always brings Britain almost inevitable disappointment. For it seems no matter who is picked to sing the song and what song they choose to sing, British entries don’t seem to have what it takes these days to be a Eurovision winner.
Britain’s had a few Eurovision winners over the years though. The first was Sandie Shaw in 1967, with ‘Puppet on a String’. Then Lulu won in 1969, with her song ‘Boom Bang-a-Bang’, but Lulu had to share the victory with three other winners, from Spain, the Netherlands and France. That year, there was no runner-up. Halfway through the seventies, Brotherhood of Man had a Eurovision win in 1976 with their song ‘Save Your Kisses for Me’ and a few years later, in 1981, Bucks Fizz won with ‘Making Your Mind Up.’ There followed a long period in the Eurovision desert for Britain until Katrina and the Waves won the 1997 competition with ‘Love Shine a Light’.
This year, with only a few months before the final, Britain’s odds are looking relatively favourable. At the time of writing, if you were to have a punt on Britain taking the 2014 Eurovision title, you could get odds of about 14/1. That puts Britain in line as sixth favourite, behind countries like Norway, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Romania and Hungary for the event that will be hosted by Denmark this year.
Last year, in 2013, Welsh power ballad 80s diva Bonnie Tyler was thrust into the Eurovision spotlight, singing ‘Believe in Me’ on behalf of the UK. Though she belted it out in true Bonnie-fashion, she didn’t do that well on points and managed to get placed 19th in the competition.
And the year before that, the BBC Eurovision chose 76-year old Engelbert Humperdinck to represent Britain, singing ‘Love Will Set You Free’. The results were mediocre to say the least, with Humperdinck getting 12 points.
So this year, the BBC has taken a different approach and chosen a young singer songwriter called Molly Smitten-Downes, who will perform her own song ‘Children of the Universe’. Molly, aged 26 and from Leicestershire, had posted her songs on BBC Introducing, where unsigned artists can put their tracks while they wait to be discovered. It’s hoped that choosing a contemporary song from a young singer will be more to Eurovision voter tastes, and maybe 2014 will be the year that brings back Eurovision glory to Britain!