Halfway II Heaven’s Eurovision Party: Saturday 13th May

This weekend Halfway II Heaven presents its take on the Eurovision Final with resident starlets Crystal D’Canter and Kelly Mild aka CK plus Eurovision guru Miss Kitty Patten. Here the tantalising trio give you 17 facts any Eurovision queen worth her salt should know.

1. Eurovision started in 1956 and that is the only year every participating country sent two songs each, which meant the first top 5 result was – 1st Switzerland, 2nd Belgium, 3rd Belgium, 4th France and 5th France. And all were all sung in French!

2. The UK first entered in 1957 – the contest’s second year – and we came seventh.

3. The largest ever physical audience was 38,000 at the 2001 contest in Copenhagen.

4. It is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Longest Running Annual TV Music Competition.

5. Until 1998, an act needed a live orchestra – now recorded backing tracks are generally used.

6. Only three women have ever appeared as a conductor.

7. When ABBA won with Waterloo they did so with no votes from the UK – but the song went on to reach number 1 in the UK.

8. The UK have five wins but have come second an unbelievable 15 times!

9. 1996’s Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit by Gina G is the last Eurovision Song to top the UK charts.

10. The youngest ever winner was Sandra Kim who was 13 when she won for Belgium in 1986. Now the minimum age is 16 and we have Junior Eurovision for younger artists.

11. This year is the first year in the main show that a performer has been born this millennium – Kristian Kostov from Bulgaria was born on 15 March 2000.

12. Portugal has been waiting 51 years for a win – the longest of any country – and has never been placed higher than sixth.

13. Female soloists are the most successful act with nearly 40 winners.

14. There have been three songs in invented languages –twice from Belgium in 2003 and 2008 and once from Netherlands in 2006.

15. Italy’s entry in 1956 was Nel Blu dipinto di blu and it won two Grammy Awards, the only Eurovision song to have done so. We know it more commonly as Volare.

16. Although last year’s winner had some Crimean lyrics, the last fully fledged song sung totally with no English lyrics was Molitva for Serbia in 2007.

17. Norway won in 1995 with Nocturne (Secret Garden). It features only 24 words but was composed by the same man as Bobbysocks’ Let It Swing.

And a bonus one for the baby queens…

18. Junior Eurovision started in 2003. The UK has only entered three times but came second in 2004 and third in 2003. And every Junior Eurovision entry since 2005 gets 12 points automatically to avoid the young artist hearing the dreaded ‘nul points’.

Entry is free.

Halfway II Heaven, 7 Duncannon Street, Charing Cross, London, WC2N 4JF.

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