The United Kingdom’s debut in the Eurovision Song Contest was in 1957 (Patricia Bredin with “All”) , and they have participated in the contest for most of its history. They won the contest for the first time in 1967 with the song “Puppet on a String” performed by Sandie Shaw. However, in 1958, the United Kingdom withdrew from the contest due to a disagreement over the voting system. Despite this brief absence, the United Kingdom has been one of the most consistent participants in the Eurovision Song Contest and has a strong history in the competition.
The United Kingdom has been one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest, with five victories, 16 second places, and 41 top 10 placings. The contest was very important for the UK music market in the 60s and 70s, and many UK entries from that period became hits or evergreens. However, the UK’s success in the contest has declined in recent years, with the country finishing in the bottom half of the scoreboard in many of the contests since the early 2000s.
There are many factors that have contributed to the UK’s declining performance in the Eurovision Song Contest. One possible factor is the changing nature of the contest, with more countries participating and more diverse musical styles being represented. Another factor may be a lack of interest or support from the UK public and media.
It is worth noting that success in the Eurovision Song Contest is not always correlated with success in the music industry, and many successful artists have chosen not to participate in the contest. Nonetheless, the Eurovision Song Contest remains an important platform for discovering new talent and showcasing music from different countries and cultures.
Terry Wogan, the long-time BBC commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest, was known for his witty and sarcastic comments about the contest and its participants has also lead to the common opinion that the ESC is a trash contest. With the effect that established singers and composers make a wide berth around the ESC. His commentary was a major part of the UK’s Eurovision experience for many years, and his passing in 2016 was a loss for many fans of the contest.
The contest has faced criticism and controversy over the years, with some viewers and media outlets dismissing it as a cheesy or irrelevant music event. Additionally, changes to the voting system and the increasing politicization of the contest have also contributed to a decline in interest among some viewers.
The Eurovision Song Contest still has a loyal following and remains an important platform for promoting music and cultural exchange across Europe and beyond. While established singers and composers may choose not to participate, the contest continues to showcase up-and-coming artists and provide a unique opportunity for countries to share their music and culture with a wider audience.
The BBC has sent established artists such as Blue, Engelbert Humperdinck, and Bonnie Tyler to represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years. While these artists may have had success in the past, their participation in the contest did not necessarily bring back the old glamorous times for the UK.
The English speaking countries always enjoyed the language advantage for a long time. Since the language rule has been eased for every country, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta have suffered a lot when it comes to the points, all countries are now able to sing in English or any language of their choice.
The BBC organized a special 60th anniversary concert of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2015, which featured previous winners and participants. The concert was held at the Apollo Hammersmith Theatre in London and was well-received by the audience in attendance.
However, it is unfortunate that the concert was not broadcast live and was not made available to viewers in other countries participating in Eurovision. It would have been a great opportunity for fans of the contest to relive some of the memorable moments and performances from past editions of the contest.
1st place, Sandie Shaw with “Puppet On A String” (Vienna 1967)
1st place, Brotherhood of Man with “Save Your Kisses For Me” (The Hague 1976)
1st place, Bucks Fizz with “Making Your Mind Up” (Dublin 1981)
- Debut: 1957
- Participations: 64
- Victories: 5
- Finals: 64
- Top 10: 41
- Chance to reach the Top 10: 64%
- Last place: 5
The Shadows with “Let Me Be The One”, Rank 2 (Stockholm 1975)
Black Lace with “Mary Ann”, Rank 7 (Jerusalem 1979)
Frances Ruffelle with “We Will Be Free (lonely Symphony)”, Rank 10 (Dublin 1994)