UK's Eurovision history

UK's Eurovision history

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
By Toby Hood,
Friday, 13th May 2016

Eurovision is the biggest non-sport competition in Europe, taking place in Sweden this weekend. We take a look back at the UK's champions of the contest 

Sandie Shaw (1967)

Sandie Shaw was already a huge star before entering the competition under the UK flag in 1967. The 'barefoot pop princess' was a hit in Europe, having recorded songs in French, German, Spanish, and Italian

Her song 'Puppet on a String' was not Shaw's first choice - in fact, she wasn't keen to appear in the contest at all. Coerced by her management, Shaw performed and went on to not only win Eurovision but become the first woman to reach no.1 in the UK chart three times.

The singer recently presented at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and has joined the campaign for Britain to remain in the EU. 

Lulu (1969)

Succeeding the '60s Britpop dynasty, Lulu took to the Eurovision stage in 1969 with 'Boom Bang-a-bang' in quite a controversial year for results.

Tying with Spain, the Netherlands, and France on 18 points, Lulu was awarded the winner's title prompting the other countries to boycott the contest in 1970.

Lulu was last involved with Eurovision in 2009 when she provided commentary for the UK finalists show. In 2015 Lulu released her first album for over a decade, Making Life Rhyme which peaked at no. 35 on the UK album charts. 

Brotherhood of Man (1976)

UK's first winning group, Brotherhood of Man began life as a rotation of session singers, before settling on the finale line-up of Martin Lee, Nicky Stevens, Lee Sheridan and Sandra Stevens.

The band took Europe by storm in the early 1974 with their single 'Kiss Me Kiss Your Baby'. Failing to make an impression in their home nation, the track took them on a tour of Europe where it was top ten in a number of countries.

'Save All Your Kisses For Me' was entered as an outside entry for the UK's Song For Europe televised contest. The song won the group the right to represent the UK and remains to this day the best selling Eurovision record of all time. 

Brotherhood of Man are still together in their Eurovision line-up with their last album, The Seventies Story, released in 2002.

Bucks Fizz (1981)

Arguably the most iconic UK Eurovision performance, Bucks Fizz were a band manufactured specifically for Eurovision.

Remembered for its skirt-ripping choreography as much as its melody, 'Making Your Mind Up' sold 4million copies worldwide and was number one in the UK and eight other countries including Australia.

The group has a tempered history and currently exists in two forms; the official group featuring one original member, Bobby G; and a second version containing the group remainders and simply touring under the name Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan, and Jay Aston.

Katrina and the Waves (1997)

Out of step with previous pop-influenced winners, rockers Katrina and the Waves began life as a grassroots guitar-band in Cambridgeshire.

Having already achieved notoriety with 'Walking on Sunshine' the group entered Eurovision with 'Love Shine A Light' in the '97 contest in Dublin.

Since winning Eurovision, the band has split and reformed a number of times and is currently not together. Katrina Leskanich has herself returned to Eurovision in a number of roles, appearing on the panels across Europe to judge entries.

Leskanich advised on the BBC show You Decide, which saw Joe and Jake win to represent the UK in 2016.

With a twenty-year break, it has now been the longest time the UK has gone without a Eurovision win. After a successful technical rehearsal in the lead up to the live final, Joe and Jake have raised the hopes of the nation for 2016.

You are here

Eurovision is the biggest non-sport competition in Europe, taking place in Sweden this weekend. We take a look back at the UK's champions of the contest