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Eurovision: Your Country Needs You

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Eurovision: Your Country Needs You

Eurovision: Your Country Needs You
Pete Waterman and Graham Norton in a promotional image for Your Country Needs You 2010
Created by BBC
Directed by Tim Van Someren
Presented by Graham Norton
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Executive producer(s) Phil Parsons
Producer(s) Helen Tumbridge
Location(s) BBC Television Centre
Running time 1 x 90 minutes
Original channel BBC One
Original release Aired under different names, from 22 January 1957 – 12 March 2010
Preceded by Eurovision: Your Decision (2008)
Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up (2004–2007)
The Great British Song Contest (1996–1999)
A Song For Europe (1961–1995, 2000–2003)
Eurovision Song Contest British Final (1959–1960)
Festival Of British Popular Songs (1957)
Followed by Internal selection (2011–2015)
External links

Eurovision: Your Country Needs You was a BBC TV show broadcast annually to select the United Kingdom's entry into the Eurovision Song Contest. The show had previously gone under several other names, including Festival of British Popular Songs, Eurovision Song Contest British Final, The Great British Song Contest, Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up and Eurovision: Your Decision but was known, for most of its history, as A Song for Europe.

The most recent name and format was adopted in 2009, but between 2011 and 2015, the UK representation has been selected internally, resulting in Your Country Needs You being suspended. On 30 September 2015, the BBC confirmed the show will return in 2016, although the exact format has not been announced.[1]


  • History 1
    • Early days 1.1
    • 1970s and 1980s 1.2
    • 1990s 1.3
    • 2000s 1.4
    • 2010s 1.5
  • Winners 2
    • Festival Of British Popular Songs (1957) 2.1
    • Eurovision Song Contest British Final (1959–1960) 2.2
    • A Song for Europe (1961–1995) 2.3
    • The Great British Song Contest (1996–1999) 2.4
    • A Song for Europe (2000–2003) 2.5
    • Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up (2004–2007) 2.6
    • Eurovision: Your Decision (2008) 2.7
    • Eurovision: Your Country Needs You (2009–2010) 2.8
    • Internal selection (2011–2015) 2.9
    • National selection (2016-Present) 2.10
  • Contestants 3
  • Host(s) and venue 4
  • Guest Commentators, Panellists & Judges 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Early days

The format of the show and the manner in which the winner is chosen has gone through many mutations. In its early days, there was a round of televised semi-finals, with the winner chosen by regional juries situated across the country. This format was used until 1960. During this era the show was known as the "Festival Of British Popular Songs" (1957) and "Eurovision Song Contest British Finals" (1959 & 1960). In 1961 the show became known by its more familiar title, "A Song For Europe", with regional juries once more deciding the winner. Typically, during that period, singers would be invited by the BBC to choose and perform a song that they liked from the shortlist available. Household names such as Petula Clark, Lita Roza, Anne Shelton, Frank Ifield, Ronnie Hilton and David Hughes were amongst the contenders for the UK competition, none of whom were able to secure the much cherished ticket to the Eurovision final. In the early 1960s, record companies became involved in the selection process for the first time and submitted songs by their artists. This produced hits for Craig Douglas, Karl Denver, Jackie Lee, Kenny Lynch, Vince Hill and Ricky Valance, but again, none of them were selected to go forward to the Eurovision Song Contest final itself.

From 1964 up until 1975, an artist would be chosen by the BBC, and that artist would sing all six songs (five in 1966 and 1967) in the selection, and the public (bar 1964 and 1971) would choose by postcard which song they would like to represent them in the contest. Regional juries selected the winner in 1964. A postal strike in 1971 prevented the ballot from taking place, so regional juries were once again constructed to pick the winner. In 1972, national power cuts meant that the broadcast of the show was blacked out in many areas, leading to a very low postal vote. In its early days of this format, only "light entertainment" singers were used, such as Kenneth McKellar and Kathy Kirby. However, the poor showing of McKellar in Luxembourg (he placed 9th of 18 entries with scores from only 2 countries, including top marks from Ireland) prompted the BBC to use more mainstream pop stars, which led to a run of successful results for the UK. This idea was dropped due to the low number of postal votes cast in the contest of 1975, in which all six songs were performed by The Shadows, and after objections from songwriters who felt The Shadows, and the BBC's selections in general, were not the sort of artists they wanted to represent their music.

During this period, the "Song For Europe" selection process was incorporated into other BBC light entertainment shows. Typically, the performer would sing one song a week as a guest on a regular, Saturday night BBC TV show. This culminated with the performer singing all the songs one after another in a special edition of the given show. From 1968 to 1975, these performances were then immediately repeated before viewers were asked to cast their votes. The following week, the winning song would be announced and performed once more. The various shows chosen for the "Song For Europe" performances were The Rolf Harris Show (1967), Cilla (1968 & 1973), Happening For Lulu (1969), It's Cliff Richard! (1970–1972), Clunk, Click (1974) - when in a break with the format, Olivia Newton-John performed three songs a week for two weeks rather than one a week for six weeks - and It's Lulu (1975).

This period was highly successful for the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest. Author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor notes in his book The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History, that every UK entry to the contest from 1967 to 1977 finished in the top four, with only three songs not being first or second.[2] Indeed, the UK were only 7 points short of four consecutive victories from 1967 to 1970.

1970s and 1980s

In 1976, a new system was put into force. Twelve songs were performed by artists chosen by the songwriters themselves and the winner was chosen by regional juries across the country during a stand alone show called "A Song For Europe". This system produced an immediate success by choosing the song which went on to be the Eurovision winner that year, "Save Your Kisses for Me" by Brotherhood of Man. The first few years of the revamped format also saw a plethora of well-known names take part in the competition. Frank Ifield, Tammy Jones, Sweet Sensation, Lyn Paul, Tony Monopoly, Carl Wayne, Hazell Dean, Tony Christie, The Foundations, Labi Siffre, Guys 'n' Dolls, The Nolan Sisters, Polly Brown and Sweet Dreams all took part in the competition, but none were successful. Likewise, the first two winners of the contest, Brotherhood of Man and Lynsey de Paul & Mike Moran, had many hits under their belts before attempting Eurovision.

In 1977, a strike by BBC cameramen led to the contest being blacked out on TV, although the show went ahead and the audio portion was later broadcast on BBC Radio 2. The TV programme has never been broadcast and is not listed in the BBC archives, yet it was transmitted to the various regional juries in BBC studios around the country, in order for them to cast their votes. The 1979 "A Song For Europe" final was never held at all, due to a strike by BBC sound engineers. The juries had to judge using audio recordings of the rehearsals. The songs were presented to the public on Terry Wogan's radio show the following day, after the result was known, followed later in the day with a spot on the TV magazine show Nationwide, where the top 5 were revealed and the winners, Black Lace, were interviewed as guests on the show. As a result of this industrial action, all future contests were staged at BBC studios and not as outside broadcasts from venues. The 1980 result ended in a tie between Prima Donna's "Love Enough For Two" and Maggie Moone's "Happy Everything". To resolve this, in an unrehearsed panic, host Terry Wogan, called back the juries to announce their favourite of the two songs. This led to extreme confusion when the scoreboard failed to keep up and some juries contradicted the results they had given earlier. Prima Donna won, with eight juries to Maggie Moone's six. A detailed check of the votes after the show did confirm that Prima Donna were the correct winners. Prima Donna were the first winners of the competition specifically formed to take part in Eurovision. This became the norm in the 1980s and the artists taking part in the contest became more and more obscure and amateurish. However, a few notable acts did enter the contest in the 1980s, with scant success. Liquid Gold, Alvin Stardust, Sinitta and Hazell Dean all failing to come through the heats.

By 1981, the number of songs had dropped to eight, and interest had started to wane. Four out of eight songs in both the 1982 and 1984 events were written by Paul Curtis, who was unsurprisingly responsible for the 1984 winner; "Love Games". Following Belle & The Devotions' performance at the 1984 Eurovision contest in Luxembourg, the audience audibly booed them from the stage in an orchestrated demonstration against the song's supposed plagiarism,[3][4] and by the local audience retaliating against a particularly shocking violent attack by English soccer fans.[5] For 1985, the BBC wanted to revert to having one singer of their choice perform all the short listed songs and approached Bonnie Tyler and when she was unavailable, Lena Zavaroni for the task. However, the Music Publisher's Association blocked the move, wanting their members the choice of their own singers to represent their music. A compromise was reached and only solo artists or duets - no "made for Eurovision" acts - were permitted to take part in the 1985 UK selection process and limited two entries per songwriter. They reverted to allowing all-comers for 1986. Starting in 1985, the songs were also 'previewed' on Terry Wogan's prime time chat show on BBC1 ahead of the final. When the series ended in 1992, the songs were presented in 1993 & 1994 in stand-alone programmes, hosted by Terry.

The number of entries briefly increased to ten in 1987 when record companies were invited to submit songs, but after a poor result from Rikki in the Eurovision final of 1987, the regional juries were disbanded, and the final decision given to the public through telephone voting, with a celebrity panel offering comments on the entries intended to guide viewers. This proved to be a relative success, accruing two second places and a sixth place (Zagreb, 1990). However, a disappointing 10th place in Rome obtained by Samantha Janus led the BBC to rethink the standard of performers in the competition.


As a result of the disappointing results in 1990 & 1991, the system that was used between 1964 and 1975 was resurrected, with the BBC's head of light entertainment, Jim Moir choosing one artist to perform all the songs in the UK final. Michael Ball was the first in 1992, and went on to win second place. Sonia was also second the following year. However, after a suggestion by Don Black to the BBC's new head of light entertainment David Liddiment in 1994, Tony Award winning stage star Frances Ruffelle was offered the job of representing the UK. A virtually unknown singer, unsurprisingly, interest was low. Her final position in the Eurovision Song Contest held in Dublin was a disappointing tenth, the same achieved by Samantha Janus in 1991.

A dramatic modernisation was introduced in 1995 in an attempt to boost the profile of the contest. Pop supremo Jonathan King was drafted in as Executive Producer to make the event more modern. The 1995 event had a diverse range of songs and some relatively well-known acts performing, such as Londonbeat who had a hit with I've Been Thinking About You, pop-combo Deuce and Sox, which featured singer and former Page 3 icon Samantha Fox. All songs were presented on a special edition of Top Of The Pops prior to the live final. On the night, the well-known artists were all beaten by rap act Love City Groove, whose eponymous song could only manage a disappointing tenth in Dublin that year. On a positive note, the songs by Love City Groove and Deuce (I Need You) made the top 10 in the UK singles charts, reaching #7 and #10 respectively, while three other entries - Dear Jon "One Gift of Love" at (#68), Londonbeat "I'm Just Your Puppet On A... (String!) at (#55) and Sox "Go For The Heart" at (#47) - all reached the UK top 100.

In 1996, a semi-final was introduced. All eight songs were performed on Top of the Pops on 1 March, and the public voted to decide the four finalists. The results were announced the following day, but there was no information given on who finished where. On 8 March the final was held, with Gina G winning very easily with her dance number Ooh Aah... Just A Little Bit. The song became an instant hit in the charts, reaching Number 1 on the UK Singles Chart. It was the first UK non-winner to do so since 1968 but it was not as successful in the Eurovision Contest itself. In Oslo, Gina could only manage eighth place, but was perhaps consoled by her Europe-wide hit with the song, which also became one of the few Eurovision songs, and one of the relatively few dance songs, to be a major hit in the United States where it peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100, was #1 on their Dance Chart and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording.

Jonathan King resigned, certain that, if Gina G couldn't win, nothing he selected could, but the BBC persuaded him to stay in charge and he decided to retain the same formula again, but with an added twist. All eight contestants would be heard on Ken Bruce's radio show on BBC Radio 2, with a public vote to decide the four finalists. The four would perform on The National Lottery Show until 1998, and then on Top of the Pops in 1999. The final itself would just consist of repeats of the performances made in the above shows, in a special programme on a Sunday afternoon. Jonathan persuaded his friends Katrina and Kimberley Rew, who had hit with Walking On Sunshine, to enter a new track, Love Shine A Light. This produced a win in the Eurovision Contest itself for the United Kingdom and for Katrina and the Waves in 1997, and followed with a second place for Imaani in 1998, but disappointment in 1999 for the all-girl band Precious.


In 2000, the same format continued, but the final four songs were performed live in A Song For Europe, still shunted to a graveyard Sunday afternoon slot. The result proved disappointing. Nicki French gave what author John Kennedy O'Connor describes in his book The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History as a far from strong performance, despite her previous chart success and attained the UK's worst ever placing at the time, a mere 16th in Stockholm with "Don't Play That Song Again".[2] This format continued the following year, and another poor showing for the UK. Lindsay D only got one place higher in Copenhagen. The entries from Six Chix in 2000 and Luke Galliana, the latter of which didn't make the 2001 final, became minor hits, with Galliana just failing to make the Top 40, but becoming a popular hit on cable request line music channel The Box.

The 2002 A Song For Europe generated a lot of publicity, because three of the four acts that made the final were relatively well known to TV viewers, albeit not necessarily for their singing ability. Surf 'n' Turf included Jonathan Maitland who is a TV presenter of consumer advice shows such as Watchdog and House of Horrors. Tricia Penrose is an actress who plays Gina in the 60s retro drama Heartbeat on ITV, and Jessica Garlick had made the final stages of another ITV show Pop Idol. The standard of songs was stronger than previous years, and Jessica Garlick had a runaway victory of nearly 70,000 votes with her ballad "Come Back". The song was also a success in Eurovision with it finishing joint third with host country Estonia.

2003 saw terrible disappointment. The new voting system of regional televoting, where 9, 10 and 12 points were awarded to the top three songs, led to an unsuccessful winner. Jemini's "Cry Baby" won by four points over "Help Me" by Emily Reed. Confidence in the UK entry was low for both fans and the public, and in the actual contest held in Riga, Jemini picked up the UK's worst-ever showing, scoring "nul points" and finishing last, due to a very poor performance, although some reports attempted to blame European disapproval of the US-UK invasion of Iraq for the failure of any nation to give the UK even one point. As noted by author and historian John Kennedy O'Connor, with 26 entries in the Eurovision field, this made "Cry Baby" the least successful song in the entire history of the contest.[2] No song in the Eurovision final scored "nul points" again until 2015.

Logo from 2004 to 2006

The 2004 selection was totally different. Gone was the Song For Europe name, replaced with Making Your Mind Up. The radio semi-final was also gone, and the six songs were performed live in a Saturday night show. This raised the profile of the competition, although there was criticism of the fact that four of the six acts were from reality TV shows. The winner, chosen by 70% regional televoting (regions awarding 0,2,4,6,8 and 12 points) and 30% SMS and Interactive voting, was James Fox, who had finished fifth in the second series of Fame Academy, with a gentle ballad "Hold On To Our Love", written by Gary Miller and Tim Woodcock. Viewing figures were peaked at over 7 million for the results show. The song finished 16th at the contest in Istanbul.

For 2005, six songs dropped to five, and the show was moved to an early Saturday evening slot on 5 March, to avoid a clash with Comic Relief Does Fame Academy and Natasha Kaplinsky replaced Gaby Roslin as co-host with Sir Terry Wogan. The press focused on two performers. Javine Hylton who is a relatively well-known urban singer, and Katie Price, aka Jordan, a famous glamour model. The other contestants included former 3SL bandmember Andy Scott-Lee, the 1996 British Eurovision entry Gina G and unknown opera trio Tricolore. The voting itself was the same format as the previous year, but this time an online jury was added to decide between the contestants to take account of the views of those watching in the rest of Europe. After an exciting voting sequence, Javine came out on top with her ethno-urban song "Touch My Fire", although she also caused some controversy when she briefly fell out of her top during an energetic dance routine. At the 50th Eurovision Song Contest held in Kiev, Javine finished 22nd out of 24 participants in the final, the UK's second poorest finish ever.

In February 2006 it was announced that artists competing in the 2006 contest would include Kym Marsh and Anthony Costa, both relatively well known in the UK for their past involvement with music bands (the former appearing in Hear'say and the latter in boy band Blue). Following the format of the previous year (and with six songs this time), Making Your Mind Up returned in 2006 in a prime-time Saturday evening slot, and was broadcast on 4 March on BBC One. Terry Wogan and Natasha Kaplinsky once again presented and were accompanied by a 'Celebrity Jury' that included chat-show host Jonathan Ross, pop star Kelly Osbourne and Top of the Pops presenter Fearne Cotton. The eventual winner of the 2006 contest (after the 7 tele-juries from around the UK and mobile and web votes) was Daz Sampson and his song "Teenage Life". Yet another low result was produced for the United Kingdom, as Daz finished 19th in the contest out of 24 competing countries.

During a press conference on 28 February 2007, the BBC confirmed that the artists taking part in Making Your Mind Up would include Big Brovaz, an RnB group who had 4 UK Top 10 singles in 2002-2003, Brian Harvey, a former member of the boy band East 17; Cyndi; Justin Hawkins of The Darkness, performing a duet with Beverlei Brown; Liz McClarnon, formerly of girl group Atomic Kitten; and Scooch, the eventual winners with "Flying the Flag (for You)". Scooch sang their entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 on 12 May 2007 in Helsinki, Finland and finished in second-to-last place with 19 points, ahead of Ireland who placed last.

For the first time, the show was filmed at The Maidstone Studios in Kent. The hour long final was broadcast at 7:30pm on 17 March 2007 on BBC One, with the half hour results show showing at 9:30pm on the same date. Although this was past the 12 March cut-off set by the EBU, the BBC were given a special extension because the EBU were made aware of this over a year in advance.[6]

The show ended in disarray when Fearne Cotton shouted out that the winner was Scooch, while co-host Terry Wogan simultaneously announced the winner to be Cyndi. After some confusion from both performers, each thinking the other had won, it was revealed that the true winner was Scooch.

In 2008 the show's name was changed to Eurovision: Your Decision. It was screened in two parts in March 2008, and was hosted by Claudia Winkleman and Sir Terry Wogan. The six competing acts were paired as girl groups (LoveShy and The Revelations), soloists (Michelle Gayle and Andy Abraham), and "Joseph and Maria" contestants (Rob McVeigh and Simona Armstrong) from the BBC talent shows Any Dream Will Do and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?. A panel of three judges (John Barrowman, Carrie Grant, and Terry Wogan) decided which artists to put through to a semi-final after each pair had performed. Terry Wogan then allowed one of the rejected acts through as a "wild card" before viewers were invited to vote by phone to decide which two would perform again in the final. The two finalists chosen by the viewers were Michelle Gayle singing "Woo (You Make Me)", and Andy Abraham singing "Even If". Despite having been originally eliminated at the first stage, Terry Wogan's "wild card" pick turned out to be the winner when the viewers voted Andy Abraham the victor with "Even If". This received a total of 14 points in the Eurovision Song Contest 2008 on 24 May 2008 in Belgrade, finishing in last place, although sharing the same score with Poland (24th) and Germany (23rd).

Andrew Lloyd Webber in a promotional image for Your Country Needs You 2009

The BBC announced in a televised call for talent on 18 October 2008, that in 2009 there would be another change to the national final. The show was renamed Eurovision: Your Country Needs You, hosted by Graham Norton, and followed a format similar to popular BBC talent shows I'd Do Anything and Any Dream Will Do. The multi-week format had members of the public (amateur or professional) compete to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest 2009, which was to be held in Moscow, Russia. In the final the three remaining contestants performed the song "It's My Time",[7] composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Diane Warren.[8] The winner of the contest was Jade Ewen who went on to score a credible fifth place at the Eurovision final in Moscow.


For 2010, the BBC announced on 29 January 2010, that song writer and music producer Pete Waterman would be writing the UK's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo, Norway, on 29 May.[9] Waterman's writing partner was Mike Stock and the singer was chosen on 12 March, in a live show featuring six potential artists broadcast on BBC One, hosted by Graham Norton.[10][11] Waterman chose three of the six acts to perform his song "That Sounds Good To Me", with the televiewers then selecting the winner. The winner was Josh Dubovie, who represented the UK in Oslo on 29 May and finished last with 10 points. The 2010 song was heavily criticised by fans and the media. Celebrity gossip blogger Christopher Couture went as far as to say "...last year, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jade Ewen proved a good song and a good singer can get us a good score. This year, we're back to the bottom of the leaderboard as Pete 'stuck in the 80's' Waterman offers a song that even Butlins would call tacky."

On 29 January 2011, the BBC confirmed that boy band Blue had been chosen to represent the UK in the 2011 contest in Düsseldorf with the composition "I Can"[12] written by Duncan James, Lee Ryan, Ciaron Bell, Ben Collier, Ian Hope, Liam Keenan and 'StarSign'.[13] Band member Anthony Costa had tried to represent the UK in 2006 as a soloist, placing second in the heat behind Daz Sampson. Other Blue personnel Lee Ryan had written one of the finalists in the 2005 UK heat and Duncan James was a panellist in the 2009 heat, going on to announce the UK scores at the Eurovision final from Moscow. James posted in a separate Twitter message that they have pre-selected their own song. The process thus excludes the UK viewing public from any participation in the British Eurovision selection for the first time.[14] Blue became the first UK representatives since The Shadows in 1975 to have had multiple No.1 singles in the UK chart prior to appearing in Eurovision,[15] and the first since Sonia in 1993 to have had a chart-topper at all.[16] A documentary entitled Eurovision: Your Country Needs Blue was produced for BBC One broadcast on Saturday 16 April 2011. The group placed 11th at the Eurovision final with 100 points and peaked at no.16 in the UK singles chart.

For 2012, Engelbert Humperdinck was selected internally by the BBC to represent the UK in Baku, Azerbaijan with the song "Love Will Set You Free". The song is written by Grammy award-winning producer Martin Terefe and Ivor Novello winner Sacha Skarbek, who co-wrote James Blunt hit "You're Beautiful". It was reportedly recorded in London, Los Angeles and Nashville.[17] At 76 years of age, Humperdinck was the oldest artist ever to appear for the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest and the first UK artist since 1976 to sing first. He came second-to-last, only beating Norway.

Another internal selection took place for 2013, with Bonnie Tyler being chosen by the BBC to represent the UK in Malmo, Sweden.[18] She came a lowly 19th in the Eurovision contest.

A fourth internal selection followed in 2014, with Molly Smitten-Downes, under her artist name of Molly, being chosen to represent the UK with the song "Children of the Universe", written and composed by Smitten-Downes herself. However, Smitten-Downes was an unknown artist who was chosen through the BBC Introducing scheme.[19] Yet again the UK could only manage a sad 17th place in the Eurovision Song Contest.

A fifth internal selection in 2015 selected the unknown act 'Electro Velvet' who went on to represent the UK with the song "Still in Love with You". The song was met with a mixed to negative reaction by the media and public.[20] In the final the UK could only manage a dismal 24th place out of the 27 acts. This latest result has led to calls from viewers and the press for the BBC to revive the national final format for 2016.

The BBC announced on 30 September 2015 that the national vote format would be returning for the 2016 contest, with internal selection being suspended indefinitely.[1]


Festival Of British Popular Songs (1957)

Year Artist Song UK Chart At Eurovision
1957 Patricia Bredin "All" Not recorded or released 7th

Eurovision Song Contest British Final (1959–1960)

Year Artist Song UK Chart At Eurovision
1959 Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson "Sing, Little Birdie" 12 2nd
1960 Bryan Johnson "Looking High, High, High" 20 2nd

A Song for Europe (1961–1995)

Year Artist Song UK Chart At Eurovision
1961 The Allisons "Are You Sure?" 2 2nd
1962 Ronnie Carroll "Ring-a-Ding Girl" 46 4th
1963 Ronnie Carroll "Say Wonderful Things" 6 4th
1964 Matt Monro "I Love the Little Things" Failed to chart1 2nd
1965 Kathy Kirby "I Belong" 36 2nd
1966 Kenneth McKellar "A Man Without Love" 30 9th
1967 Sandie Shaw "Puppet on a String" 1 1st
1968 Cliff Richard "Congratulations" 1 2nd
1969 Lulu "Boom Bang-a-Bang" 2 1st
1970 Mary Hopkin "Knock Knock, Who's There?" 2 2nd
1971 Clodagh Rodgers "Jack in the Box" 4 4th
1972 The New Seekers "Beg, Steal or Borrow" 2 2nd
1973 Cliff Richard "Power to All Our Friends" 4 3rd
1974 Olivia Newton-John "Long Live Love" 11 4th
1975 The Shadows "Let Me Be the One" 12 2nd
1976 Brotherhood of Man "Save Your Kisses for Me" 1 1st
1977 Lynsey de Paul & Mike Moran "Rock Bottom" 19 2nd
1978 Co-Co "The Bad Old Days" 13 11th
1979 Black Lace "Mary Ann" 42 7th
1980 Prima Donna "Love Enough for Two" 48 3rd
1981 Bucks Fizz "Making Your Mind Up" 1 1st
1982 Bardo "One Step Further" 2 7th
1983 Sweet Dreams "I'm Never Giving Up" 21 6th
1984 Belle and the Devotions "Love Games" 11 7th
1985 Vikki "Love Is" 49 4th
1986 Ryder "Runner in the Night" 982 7th
1987 Rikki "Only the Light" 962 13th
1988 Scott Fitzgerald "Go" 52 2nd
1989 Live Report "Why Do I Always Get it Wrong?" 73 2nd
1990 Emma "Give a Little Love Back to the World" 33 6th
1991 Samantha Janus "A Message to Your Heart" 30 10th
1992 Michael Ball "One Step Out of Time" 20 2nd
1993 Sonia "Better the Devil You Know" 15 2nd
1994 Frances Ruffelle "We Will Be Free (Lonely Symphony)" 25 10th
1995 Love City Groove "Love City Groove" 7 10th
  1. Although "I Love The Little Things" failed to reach the official top 50 singles chart in 1964, the EP release containing the track and the other UK finalists reached #16 in the official EP charts.
  1. Both "Runner In the Night" and "Only The Light" reached the top 100 of the singles chart, but failed to register in the official top 75.

The Great British Song Contest (1996–1999)

Year Artist Song UK Chart At Eurovision
1996 Gina G "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit" 1 8th
1997 Katrina and the Waves "Love Shine a Light" 3 1st
1998 Imaani "Where Are You?" 15 2nd
1999 Precious "Say It Again" 6 12th

A Song for Europe (2000–2003)

Year Artist Song UK Chart At Eurovision
2000 Nicki French "Don't Play That Song Again" 34 16th
2001 Lindsay "No Dream Impossible" 32 15th
2002 Jessica Garlick "Come Back" 13 3rd
2003 Jemini "Cry Baby" 15 26th (0)

Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up (2004–2007)

Year Artist Song UK Chart At Eurovision
2004 James Fox "Hold On to Our Love" 13 16th
2005 Javine Hylton "Touch My Fire" 18 22nd
2006 Daz Sampson "Teenage Life" 8 19th
2007 Scooch "Flying the Flag (for You)" 5 22nd

Eurovision: Your Decision (2008)

Year Artist Song UK Chart At Eurovision
2008 Andy Abraham "Even If" 67 25th

Eurovision: Your Country Needs You (2009–2010)

Year Artist Song UK Chart At Eurovision
2009 Jade Ewen "It's My Time" 27 5th
2010 Josh Dubovie "That Sounds Good to Me"[21] 179 25th

Internal selection (2011–2015)

Year Artist Song UK Chart At Eurovision
2011 Blue "I Can"[12] 16 11th
2012 Engelbert Humperdinck "Love Will Set You Free" 60 25th
2013 Bonnie Tyler "Believe in Me" 93 19th
2014 Molly "Children of the Universe" 23 17th
2015 Electro Velvet "Still in Love with You" 63 24th

National selection (2016-Present)

Year Artist Song UK Chart At Eurovision


Host(s) and venue

Year(s) Selection show Venue National final main host National final co-host Semi final/heat host
1956 UK did not participate
1957 Festival Of British Popular Songs The King's Theatre Hammersmith David Jacobs No co-host David Jacobs
1958 UK did not participate
1959 Eurovision Song Contest British Final BBC Television Theatre Pete Murray No co-host Pete Murray
1960 David Jacobs David Jacobs
1961 A Song For Europe Katie Boyle No semi final/heat
1962 David Jacobs
1967 Rolf Harris
1968 Cilla Black
1969 Michael Aspel
1970 Cliff Richard
1973 Cilla Black
1974 Jimmy Savile
1975 Lulu
1976 Royal Albert Hall Michael Aspel
1977 1 New London Theatre Terry Wogan
1978 Royal Albert Hall
1979 2
1980 BBC Television Theatre
1982 BBC Television Centre
1983 BBC Television Theatre
1984 BBC Television Centre
1996 The Great British Song Contest Nicky Campbell Ken Bruce & Terry Wogan
1997 Dale Winton No co-host
1998 Terry Wogan
1999 Ulrika Jonsson
2000 A Song For Europe Elstree Studios Katy Hill
2002 Christopher Price Claire Sweeney
2003 BBC Television Centre Terry Wogan No co-host
2004 Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up Gaby Roslin No semi-final/heat
2005 Natasha Kaplinsky
2007 The Maidstone Studios Fearne Cotton
2008 Eurovision: Your Decision BBC Television Centre Claudia Winkleman
2009 Eurovision: Your Country Needs You Graham Norton No co-host Graham Norton
2010 No semi-final/heat
2011 Internal selection
2014 The UK Launch
One MayFair Scott Mills No co-host Internal selection
2015 Our Song for Eurovision 2015
Café de Paris

1 Show not transmitted on TV due to industrial action
2 Show abandoned due to industrial action

Guest Commentators, Panellists & Judges

Featured in 1988–1990, 1994–1995 and 2004–2010.

Year Panellists
1988 Bruce Welch, Mike Batt
1989 Deke Arlon, Gary Davies, Leslie Bricusse, Lulu
1990 Cathy McGowan, Gloria Hunniford, Carl Davis, Tim Rice
1994 Richard O'Brien, Jonathan King
1995 Jonathan King, Mike Read, Cheryl Baker, Brian Harvey, Ian Dury, Let Loose, Bruno Brookes & Scarlet.
2004 Lorraine Kelly, Harry Hill, Carrie Grant
2005 Jonathan Ross, Bruno Tonioli, Paddy O'Connell, Natalie Cassidy
2006 Jonathan Ross, Bruno Tonioli, Fearne Cotton, Kelly Osbourne
2007 John Barrowman, Mel Giedroyc
2008 John Barrowman1, Carrie Grant1, Terry Wogan2
2009 Lulu, Arlene Phillips, Andrew Lloyd Webber2, Diane Warren, Duncan James, Emma Bunton, Alesha Dixon
2010 Bruno Tonioli, Jade Ewen, Pete Waterman1, Mike Stock

1 Acted as "judges" to eliminate contestants in preliminary rounds
2 Acted as "judges" to 'save' contestants from elimination

See also


  1. ^ a b "Public to help choose UK Eurovision entry - BBC News".  
  2. ^ a b c O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest - The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3
  3. ^ "Kit Rolfe of Belle and the Devotions interview - Part 1". YouTube. 1984-07-17. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  4. ^ "Kit Rolfe of Belle and the Devotions interview - Part 2". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  5. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official History. Carlton Books, UK, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84732-521-1
  6. ^ Viniker, Barry (2007-02-28). "Exclusive: UK Final on March 17th". ESCToday. 
  7. ^ Sanderson, Elizabeth (25 January 2009). "We wrote the Eurovision song in two hours, says Lloyd Webber". Daily Mail (London). 
  8. ^ "Lloyd Webber pens Eurovision song".  
  9. ^ "Press Office - Pete Waterman to write UK entry for Eurovision". BBC. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  10. ^ Montebello, Edward (2010-03-05). "United Kingdom: Six acts announced". ESCToday. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 
  11. ^ Webb, Glen (2010-03-05). "BBC reveal United Kingdom finalists!".  
  12. ^ a b [2]
  13. ^ "Blue - I Can (United Kingdom 2011) | Participant Profile | Eurovision Song Contest - Copenhagen 2014". Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  14. ^ Kennedy, John (2011-01-30). "Internal selection turns Eurovision Blue for the United Kingdom | ESC Insight - Home of the Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Podcast". ESC Insight. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  15. ^ "ChartArchive - The Chart Archive". Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  16. ^ "ChartArchive - The Chart Archive". Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  17. ^ "Engelbert Humperdinck is UK Eurovision act for 2012". BBC News. 1 March 2012. 
  18. ^ Infante, Francesca (7 March 2013). "Will Bonnie Tyler finally end our Eurovision heartache? 80s star to represent Britain at this year's contest". Daily Mail (London). 
  19. ^ "Molly Smitten-Downes to represent the UK". 3 March 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Electro Velvet will ensure we don't win". Telegraph. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  21. ^ Borodin, Alexandrer (2010-03-11). "UNITED KINGDOM Karen Harding winner of Your Country Needs You 201". Oikotimes. Retrieved 11 March 2010. 

External links

  • Eurovision: Your Country Needs You at BBC Online
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