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The United Kingdom at The Eurovision Song Contest

Updated on February 8, 2017

British Eurovision Entries: 1957-2017

A nostalgic recollection of all the songs that have represented the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest since it first entered the competition in 1957.

Over the years, the results for the British Eurovision entries have been fairly good, having achieved five winners and fifteen second place finishers. Most recently, with the introduction of more former Eastern Bloc competitors, the nation's scores have suffered as a consequence.

However, here is a chance to relive more than fifty years of United Kingdom Eurovision Song Contest entries all on one page. Truly an evocative trip down memory lane. Enjoy!

Image: UK Union Jack Flag

Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson
Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson
Image (right) by Joop van Bilsen / Anefo (Nationaal Archief) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-nl], via Wikimedia Commons

The 1950s

The UK did not participate in the Song Contests of 1956 and 1958, so here are its entries for 1957 and 1959.


UK Eurovision Songs 1957 & 1959

Year
Song
Performer
Final Position
1956
N/A
N/A
N/A
1957
All
Patricia Bredin
7
1958
N/A
N/A
N/A
1959
Sing Little Birdie
Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson
2

7th: Patricia Bredin in 1957

Flying the Flag: 50 Years of the UK in Eurovision

Flying The Flag: The United Kingdom in Eurovision A Celebration and Contemplation
Flying The Flag: The United Kingdom in Eurovision A Celebration and Contemplation

Flying the Flag is journalist Andy Roberts' good-natured exploration of the United Kingdom's first fifty years' involvement in the Eurovision Song Contest. It highlights the country's triumphs and catastrophes, as well as the nations that have been its competition over the decades.

 

Winner: Sandie Shaw

The 1960s

The decade in which the United Kingdom won the Contest on two occasions (1967 and 1969), and perhaps should have won more (five runners-up positions).

Some big names of the day took part in the Contest (Cliff Richard, Kathy Kirby, Sandie Shaw and Lulu), giving the extravaganza some level of respectability and acceptability.


Ronnie Carroll in 1962
Ronnie Carroll in 1962
Image by Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 - negatiefstroken zwart/wit, nummer toegang 2.24.01.05, bestanddeelnummer 913-6611 (Nationaal Archief) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-nl], via Wikimedia Commons

UK Eurovision Songs 1960-1969

Year
Song
Performer
Final Position
1960
Looking High, High, High
Bryan Johnson
2
1961
Are You Sure?
The Allisons
2
1962
Ring-a-Ding Girl
Ronnie Carroll
4
1963
Say Wonderful Things
Ronnie Carroll
4
1964
I Love the Little Things
Matt Monroe
2
1965
I Belong
Kathy Kirby
2
1966
A Man Without Love
Kenneth McKellar
9
1967
Puppet on a String
Sandie Shaw
1
1968
Congratulations
Cliff Richard
2
1969
Boom Bang-A-Bang
Lulu
1

Winner: Lulu in 1969

The 1970s

A great decade for the UK: eight Top 4 placings.

Perhaps Co-Co should have placed higher, but Black Lace was instantly forgettable.

1972

The New Seekers
The New Seekers
Image by Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 - negatiefstroken zwart/wit, nummer toegang 2.24.01.05, bestanddeelnummer 925-4081 (Nationaal Archief) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-nl], via Wikimedia Commons

UK Eurovision Songs 1970-1979

Year
Song
Performer
Final Position
1970
Knock, Knock, Who's There?
Mary Hopkin
2
1971
Jack in a Box
Clodagh Rodgers
4
1972
Beg, Steal or Borrow
The New Seekers
2
1973
Power to the People
Cliff Richard
3
1974
Long Live Love
Olivia Newton-John
4
1975
Let Me Be the One
The Shadows
2
1976
Save Your Kisses For Me
Brotherhood of Man
1
1977
Rock Bottom
Lynsey de Paul & Mike Moran
2
1978
Bad Old Days
Co-Co
11
1979
Mary Ann
Black Lace
7

Winner: Brotherhood of Man in 1976

The 1980s

The 1980s was, perhaps, not the best era for UK entries, but we managed a winning song in 1981 with Bucks Fizz (who had to overcome stiff competition in the UK heats from second placed band, Liquid Gold, with their entry for the Contest, Don't Panic), as well as two second places in 1988 and 1989.


1980

Prima Donna
Prima Donna
Image by Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 - negatiefstroken zwart/wit, nummer toegang 2.24.01.05, bestanddeelnummer 930-7860 (Nationaal Archief) [CC-BY-SA-3.0-nl], via Wikimedia Commons

UK Eurovision Songs 1980-1989

Year
Song
Performer
Final Position
1980
Love Enough For Two
Prima Donna
3
1981
Making Your Mind Up
Bucks Fizz
1
1982
One Step Further
Bardo
7
1983
I'm Never Giving Up
Sweet Dreams
6
1984
Love Games
Belle & the Devotions
7
1985
Love Is
Vikki
4
1986
Runner in the Night
Ryder
7
1987
Only the Light
Rikki
13
1988
Go
Scott Fitzgerald
2
1989
Why Do I Always Get It Wrong?
Live Report
2

Winner: Bucks Fizz in 1981

The 1990s

Three second place songs and a winner in 1997 add up to a good decade for the UK.

The international hit by Gina G. surprisingly only managed eighth place!


Gina G in 1996

UK Eurovision Songs 1990-1999

Year
Song
Performer
Final Position
1990
Give A Little Love Back to the World
Emma
6
1991
A Message to Your Heart
Samantha Janus
10
1992
One Step Out of Time
Michael Ball
2
1993
Better the Devil You Know
Sonia
2
1994
Lonely Symphony (We Will Be Free)
Frances Ruffelle
10
1995
Love City Groove
Love City Groove
10
1996
Ooh... Aah...Just A Little Bit
Gina G
8
1997
Love, Shine A Light
Katrina & the Waves
1
1998
Where Are You?
Imaani
2
1999
Say It Again
Precious
12

Winner: Katrina & the Waves in 1997

2002: Come Back

Jessica Garlick
Jessica Garlick | Source

The 2000s

The United Kingdom appeared to have pretty much given up on winning the Contest during the 2000s. It had become very political and the entries reflected how seriously it was now taken in the UK.

Here's the proof...


UK Eurovision Songs 2000-2009

Year
Song
Performer
Final Position
2000
Don't Play That Song Again
Niki French
16
2001
No Dream Impossible
Lindsay Dracass
15
2002
Come Back
Jessica Garlick
3
2003
Cry Baby
Jemini
26 (Last - 0 Points)
2004
Hold On to Our Love
James Fox
16
2005
Touch My Fire
Javine
22
2006
Teenage Life
Daz Sampson
19
2007
Flying the Flag (For You)
Scooch
22
2008
Even If
Andy Abraham
25 (Last)
2009
It's My Time
Jade Ewen
5

5th: Jade Ewen in 2009

2013

Bonnie Tyler
Bonnie Tyler | Source

UK Eurovision Songs 2010-

Year
Song
Performer
Final Position
2010
That Sounds Good to Me
Josh Dubovie
25 (Last)
2011
I Can
Blue
11
2012
Love Will Set You Free
Engelbert Humperdinck
25
2013
Believe in Me
Bonnie Tyler
19
2014
Children of the Universe
Molly
17
2015
Still in Love With You
Electro Velvet
24
2016
You're Not Alone
Joe and Jake
24
2017
Never Give Up on You
Lucie Jones
TBA

Flying the Flag in 2017: Lucie Jones

2016 on CD

Eurovision Song Contest Stockholm 2016
Eurovision Song Contest Stockholm 2016

A collection of all the songs featured at the 2016 competition, including Joe and Jake's UK entry, You're Not Alone.

 

Your Eurovision View!

Some share the view that political and friendly voting has now ruined the Eurovision Song Contest and that Western nations, like the UK, have no chance of ever winning again.

Do you agree with Terry Wogan that it may now be time to leave?

Do You Think the UK Should Now Withdraw?

Yes, leave now!

Yes, leave now!

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    • mel 2 years ago

      I think the only way that the United kingdom can do well again is by breaking the four countries up like all the rest of Europe has done. The old Yugoslavia has spilt into a number of countries most probably giving their old country votes. Czechoslovak has split into two countries. With so many small countries winning as their neighbour was once part of their country and they will vote for them in the Eurovision. So why can't the UK do the same thing? it does it in the Commonwealth games. Wales has produced Mary Hopkins and Bonny Tyler, Scotland has produced Lulu and others and North Ireland has produce a number of singers for the United Kingdom. If we broke up into four parts we would vote for each other. Scandinavians always vote for each other. As for the poor big countries like Germany, they don't stand a chance. Eurovision is all so political these days in any case.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      For Gods sake lets us leave, while we still have some self respect.

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      We are being made to look pretty ridiculous now, perhaps we need to leave for a couple of years and let other countries pay for it, this might mean they might have a little more respect. It has got to the stage where my 19 year old can accurately predict the scores - must admit its good for geography

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      We are being made to look pretty ridiculous now, perhaps we need to leave for a couple of years and let other countries pay for it, this might mean they might have a little more respect. It has got to the stage where my 19 year old can accurately predict the scores - must admit its good for geography

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      It's farcical to carry on and, not ony that, the vast amount of money we donate to it each year could be far better used elsewhere. If the Eastern Europeans want to have a song contest, let them have one at their own expense.

    • anonymous 8 years ago

      The contest is now a farce. It is not about the songs but who you are allied to.

    • anonymous 8 years ago

      The Eurovision used to be a wonderful institution but now it's gone too many countries, too English and completely lost all of its charm. Whatever happened to Ding DingaDong, A Ba Ni Bi A Ba Ni Be, and the live orchestra?

    • anonymous 8 years ago

      I been looking at the history of the Eerovision song contest since the UK first enterd the contest And have been very successful but now the is very Polictol the Only part of western europe that has had some success is scandernavia and i think that UK has no chocise to pull out.

    • anonymous 8 years ago

      How much does it cost for the UK to enter Eurovision each year? Who pays? Would you call this year good value for money?

    No, the UK needs to stay!

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      • bornot2b1 3 years ago

        No, the more the merrier... Eurovision fans do their own choosing every year on the net.

      • Erin Mellor 3 years ago from Europe

        No, it's fun. If you're relaxed about the voting patterns you can just sit back and enjoy the variety and the nonsense of it all.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        nooo

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        No I think the UK needs to stay on. We will win the contest at some point, we need to remember the likes of Sandie Shaw, Lulu, Brotherhood Of Man, Bucks Fizz and Katrina and the Waves. But out of all our winners, my favourite still has to be Save Your Kisses For Me by Brotherhood Of Man, who are still going strong.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        No, it's just a bit of fun! It's interesting to listen to songs from other countries which we might not otherwise have heard.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        UK should stay. It's innocent fun for a night. Who cares about winning, yes it would be great but the whole show is about being fun and campy!

        Plus it let's us see music from other countries that we wouldn't have been exposed to, since our radio stations lay some random crap.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        If you insist on requesting writers like Waterman to compose songs, then Hey!! no surprises UK came last in Eurovision. He's a good producer and marketer, but you kid yourselves if you believe he's a talented writer and to ever liking stuff like Steps,

      • nickupton lm 7 years ago

        Who cares who wins? I just enjoy watching all the strange entries from all around Europe.

        Anyway, I don't believe in potitical voting. Would Bosnia vote for Serbia because they love their ethnic-cleansing neighbours or because the song is in a language they can understand?

      • anonymous 8 years ago

        I don't think the UK should withdraw, but I think the competition should be divided into eastern and western Europe. It's too big now, and blatant bias voting from the Eastern bloc countries is turning Eurovision into a competition of political posturing. Have a cut-off boundary - all countries from Austria west in one division and east of Austria in another. Then we might once again have some beautiful music and a fun competition, just like in the 1970s and 80s.

      © 2007 Richard

      Are You A Eurovision Fan?

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        • bornot2b1 profile image

          bornot2b1 3 years ago

          wow, thanks for this terrific collection.

        • profile image

          anonymous 4 years ago

          To tell the truth I am not an Eurovision fan, but this year I did watch some of it because I saw the Russian Grannies and it drew me to watch some more performance.

        • indigoj profile image

          Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

          A very interesting record of the UK's long history of entries into Eurovision. I had just been playing the 1994 Eurovision entry on YouTube as I'm writing a short piece on Frances Ruffelle elsewhere on Squidoo, and the Eurovision connection prompted me to pay you a visit. Fascinating to see that Samantha Janus and Michael Ball were also entrants in the 90s.

          A thought has just occurred to me... if Scotland ends up independent, will that mean a separate entry? I suppose it would!

        • flycatcherrr profile image

          flycatcherrr 5 years ago

          Just stumbled on this lens and it gave me a smile. I lived in the UK briefly as a teenager and watching the Eurovision Song Contest with friends is one of many fond memories I have of that long-gone time. I very much like, too, the way you handled the huge amount of content here, so that the page is quick to load and yet the goodies are all there, favourites easily found.

        • profile image

          kimmanleyort 7 years ago

          This is a fantastic overview of Eurovision, which I'm sorry to say I have not heard of. Can't wait to see all of the niche lenses from this.

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