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UK Shines a Light: A Celebration

Did you know that the UK has come second in the competition a record 15 times and has the record for the longest-running string of top 5 placings?!

In fact, EuroStarz own Scott Fitzgerald came second only to Celine Dion by a single point in 1988!

In what would have been the build up to the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam 2020 on May 16th, let’s take a look back at the UK’s success in the competition. The UK have won the competition 5 times over the years, and it all began with a bare-footed Sandie Shaw and ‘Puppet on a String’ in 1967, 53 years ago.

She then later re-recorded the track in 2007 to mark her 60th birthday entitled ‘Puppet’s Got a Brand New String’ with a lilting melody befitting of her years and stature. Aptly, as a Eurovision legend, she received an MBE from the Queen in 2017. Spend a moment to enjoy the original bouncy magic:

Lulu managed to tie for first place in a 4-way tie in 1969 with ‘Boom Bang-a-Bang’, although that is just one of the more bizarre defining moments of the contest!

See a fresh-faced Lulu performing in Madrid here:

The song was the second consecutive entry with a nonsense title to win the contest, following Massiels ‘La La La’ in 1968 and famously inspired the Monty Python parody ‘Bing Tiddle-Tiddle Bong’.

Boom Bang-a-Bang was a hit in the UK, and across Europe, securing No.2 in the UK Singles Chart and is still played regularly on the Eurovision scene.

Brotherhood of Man secured a win in 1976 with ‘Save your kisses for me’ and did one better than Lulu, securing No.1 not only in the UK but in many countries across Europe. It went on to be the best-selling song of the year. Still going strong and freshly reformed for the BBC’s ‘Eurovision’s Greatest Hits’ in 2015 they proved they still have that something special, and the crowd just couldn’t help sing along to this classic winner:

Their success was quickly followed by Buzz Fizz in 1981 with ‘Making your mind up’.

Take a look at this BBC video from 2011, when the band discuss how close the voting really was on the night and that infamous ‘skirt’ moment:

Now onto our reigning Queen, Katrina (and the Waves) with the iconic ‘Love, Shine a Light’ in 1997.

Check out this performance in 2016 at that year’s selection show ‘Eurovision: You Decide’ proving the song, like it did on the night, really brings home a message of unity, peace and determination that continues to resonate with us today:

So much so, in these strange times of 2020, that its name has been coined for the big Eurovision event this Saturday, in place of the competition. Truly let ‘Love Shine a Light’ across the world remembering the UK’s last momentous win in 1997.

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