The Eurovision Song Contest
The final of the biggest and longest running annual TV song contest returns to our screens this weekend. Initially called The Eurovision Grand Prix and first aired in 1956, Eurovision has been a part of European culture ever since. But how much do you know about this old song contest? Allow us to supply you with some interesting facts and figures that you can impress your friends and family with come Saturday evening.
- Until 2017 there have been nearly 1,500 songs that have taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest. If you were to listen to all the songs after the 2017 event, you would have to stay awake for over 72 hours.
- Who has won the most contests? The answer is Ireland, with seven wins. Sweden comes in at 2nd with six wins, followed by Luxembourg, France and the UK on five.
- The language rules have changed a few times over the show’s 62-year run. Between 1956 and 1965 the rules on language hadn’t been considered, till Sweden translated their song into English for the competition, and from then till 1974 a country’s song had to be in its own language. ABBA promptly won the competition when the ban was lifted, with their famous song “Waterloo”. The contest reverted back again in 1977, until 1999 when the choice for languages was given once more.
- Speaking of ABBA, they are the most successful participants of the competition, along with Celine Dion and Bucks Fizz; having said that, career longevity is not really associated with The Eurovision Song Contest.
- Though there have only been 62 editions of the contest (excluding this year) there have been 65 winners. The famous 1969 event was won by the UK, Spain, France and The Netherlands due to an unprecedented four-way tie on points. The rules have since been changed.
Feeling all clued-up? It’s been our pleasure. We hope you enjoy this years Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev!