Eurovision Song Contest 1963

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Eurovision Song Contest 1963
ESC 1963 logo.png
Final23 March 1963
VenueBBC Television Centre
London, United Kingdom
Presenter(s)Katie Boyle
Musical directorEric Robinson
Directed byYvonne Littlewood
Executive producerHarry Carlisle
Host broadcasterBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Interval actOla & Barbro Edit this at Wikidata
Number of entries16
Debuting countriesNone
Returning countriesNone
Non-returning countriesNone
  • Belgium in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963France in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Switzerland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Germany in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Denmark in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Austria in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Luxembourg in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963A coloured map of the countries of Europe
    About this image
         Participating countries
Voting systemTwenty-member juries awarded points to their five favourite songs.
Nul points
Winning song Denmark
1962 ← Eurovision Song Contest → 1964

The Eurovision Song Contest 1963 was the eighth annual Eurovision Song Contest. The contest was held in London, United Kingdom, after the British broadcaster BBC stepped in to organise the event. France had won the 1962 edition with the right to host this following one but were unable to, due to financial shortcomings.

The contest was won by Denmark with the song "Dansevise", performed by Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann. Denmark's win was their first, which was the first victory for a Nordic country. Four countries got nul points, with Finland, Norway and Sweden failing to score any points for the first time and the Netherlands for the second time, becoming the first country to go two years in a row without scoring a single point.[1]


BBC Television Centre, London - host venue of the 1963 contest.

The BBC was willing to host the contest instead of the previous year's winner France, as was the case in 1960. They would do so again in 1972 and 1974 because the winning broadcasters from the year before could not afford to produce the contest. The host venue was the BBC Television Centre, White City, London, which opened in 1960. It is one of the most readily recognisable facilities of its type having appeared as the backdrop for many BBC programmes. It remained to be one of the largest such facilities in the world until it redeveloped in March 2013.[2]


Two studios (TC3 and TC4) were used: one for the mistress of ceremonies Katie Boyle, the audience, and the scoreboard; the other for the performers and the orchestra accompanying them. Unusually, a boom microphone (normally used for drama and comedy shows) was employed - the viewer doesn't see this, so it appears as if the artists were miming to their vocals. This was not the case, but this innovation was to create a new look for the contest.[1]

Voting controversy[edit]

One controversy this year was during the voting. When it was Norway's turn to announce their votes, the spokesman in Oslo, Roald Øyen, did not use the correct procedure in that the song number, followed by the name of the country, should have been announced before awarding the points. Katie Boyle asked Norway to repeat their results, but the Norwegian spokesman asked Katie to return to them after all the other results were in. When Katie went back to Norway again the votes had mysteriously altered, thus changing the outcome of the contest and giving the victory to Norway's neighbours Denmark at Switzerland's expense. In fact, the Norwegian spokesman had not given the correct votes on the first occasion.[1]

Monaco was also asked to repeat their voting a second time as initially Monaco gave one point to both the United Kingdom and Luxembourg. However, when Katie Boyle went back to Monaco to receive the votes again Monaco's one vote to Luxembourg was efficiently discarded (although this did not have any effect on the positions of the countries).[1]

It has also been speculated as to whether the juries were indeed on the end of a telephone line or in the actual studio given how clearly their voices could be heard as opposed to sounding as though they were being redirected through a telephone line.[original research?]

Participating countries[edit]

All countries which participated in the 1962 edition also participated in the 1963 edition.


The participating conductors were:[3][4]

Returning artists[edit]

Artist Country Previous year(s)
Ronnie Carroll  United Kingdom 1962


Draw Country Artist Song Language[5][6] Place[7] Points
01  United Kingdom Ronnie Carroll "Say Wonderful Things" English 4 28
02  Netherlands Annie Palmen "Een speeldoos" Dutch 13 0
03  Germany Heidi Brühl "Marcel" German 9 5
04  Austria Carmela Corren "Vielleicht geschieht ein Wunder" German, English 7 16
05  Norway Anita Thallaug "Solhverv" Norwegian 13 0
06  Italy Emilio Pericoli "Uno per tutte" Italian 3 37
07  Finland Laila Halme "Muistojeni laulu" Finnish 13 0
08  Denmark Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann "Dansevise" Danish 1 42
09  Yugoslavia Vice Vukov "Brodovi" (Бродови) Serbo-Croatian 11 3
10   Switzerland Esther Ofarim "T'en va pas" French 2 40
11  France Alain Barrière "Elle était si jolie" French 5 25
12  Spain José Guardiola "Algo prodigioso" Spanish 12 2
13  Sweden Monica Zetterlund "En gång i Stockholm" Swedish 13 0
14  Belgium Jacques Raymond "Waarom?" Dutch 10 4
15  Monaco Françoise Hardy "L'amour s'en va" French 5 25
16  Luxembourg Nana Mouskouri "À force de prier" French 8 13


Each country had 20 jury members who awarded their five favourite songs 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 points in order. All those points would then be added up and the five song with the most points got 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 votes in order. Errors in the Norwegian (see above) and the Monegasque votes meant their scores had to be announced twice, with an adjustment to the scores being made in each case before the final score was verified.

Voting results[8][9]
Total score
United Kingdom
United Kingdom 28 3 5 3 3 3 3 5 2 1
Netherlands 0
Germany 5 2 3
Austria 16 4 4 1 2 3 2
Norway 0
Italy 37 2 1 3 2 5 4 5 3 3 5 4
Finland 0
Denmark 42 3 5 2 3 4 2 5 3 5 5 5
Yugoslavia 3 1 2
Switzerland 40 5 4 5 1 5 4 4 1 4 4 3
France 25 4 1 2 4 5 4 1 1 2 1
Spain 2 2
Sweden 0
Belgium 4 4
Monaco 25 1 2 5 1 3 1 1 5 4 2
Luxembourg 13 3 1 1 2 2 4

5 points[edit]

Below is a summary of all 5 points received:

N. Contestant Nation(s) giving 5 points
5  Denmark  Belgium,  Finland,  Luxembourg,  Netherlands,  Sweden
3  Italy  Denmark,  Monaco,   Switzerland
  Switzerland  Austria,  Italy,  United Kingdom
2  United Kingdom  Norway,  Spain
 Monaco  France,  Germany
1  France  Yugoslavia


Listed below is the order in which votes were cast during the 1963 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country.

  1.  United Kingdom – TBC
  2.  Netherlands – Pim Jacobs[10]
  3.  Germany – Werner Veigel
  4.  Austria – Emil Kollpacher
  5.  Norway – Roald Øyen[11]
  6.  Italy – Enzo Tortora
  7.  Finland – Poppe Berg [fi][12]
  8.  Denmark – TBC
  9.  Yugoslavia – Miloje Orlović [sr]
  10.   Switzerland – Alexandre Burger [fr]
  11.  France – Armand Lanoux
  12.  Spain – Julio Rico
  13.  Sweden – Edvard Matz [sv][13]
  14.  Belgium – Ward Bogaert
  15.  Monaco – TBC
  16.  Luxembourg – TBC


Each national broadcaster also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language.

Broadcasters and commentators in participating countries
Country Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s) Ref(s)
 Austria ORF Hanns Joachim Friedrichs [4]
 Belgium RTB French: Pierre Delhasse [4]
BRT Dutch: Herman Verelst [nl] and Denise Maes [4]
 Denmark Danmarks Radio TV Ole Mortensen [da] [4]
 Finland Suomen Televisio Aarno Walli [fi] [4]
Yleisradio Erkki Melakoski [fi]
 France Première Chaîne RTF Pierre Tchernia [4][14]
 Germany Deutsches Fernsehen Hanns Joachim Friedrichs [4]
 Italy Programma Nazionale Renato Tagliani [it] [4]
 Luxembourg Télé-Luxembourg Pierre Tchernia [4]
 Monaco Télé Monte Carlo
 Netherlands NTS Willem Duys [4]
 Norway NRK, NRK P1 Øivind Johnssen [4]
 Spain TVE Federico Gallo [es] [4]
 Sweden Sveriges TV, SR P1 Jörgen Cederberg [sv] [4][15]
  Switzerland TV DRS German: Theodor Haller [de] [4]
TSR French: Georges Hardy [fr] [4]
TSI Italian: Renato Tagliani [4]
 United Kingdom BBC TV David Jacobs [4]
BBC Light Programme Michael Aspel
 Yugoslavia Televizija Beograd Serbo-Croatian: Ljubomir Vukadinović [sr]
Televizija Zagreb Serbo-Croatian: Gordana Bonetti [hr]
Televizija Ljubljana Slovene: Saša Novak [4]
Broadcasters and commentators in non-participating countries
Country Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s) Ref(s)
 Portugal RTP Federico Gallo [4][16]


Norwegian jury votes[edit]

If Norway did not make a statement in terms of results, Norway would still have its mark on the vote. Switzerland and Denmark quickly took the lead in the competition, and when Norway voted as number five, problems arose. The Norwegian counter had not managed to figure out the votes of the jury members, and the Norwegian points were therefore not clear. In the confusion, Roald Øyen read a preliminary result and had to ask Katie Boyle to come back later in the vote.

At the end of the vote, Switzerland led two points ahead of Denmark. When the correct Norwegian points were read, however, Switzerland and Denmark switched places, so that Denmark won the competition two points ahead of Switzerland. The Norwegian jury was later accused of having helped a neighboring country to win, and Switzerland protested against the result. However, NRK rejected the accusations and emphasized that the Norwegian jury had given the right points.

The reason for the chaos was that the Norwegian counter was simply not finished counting the votes when Norway was called up. Not only were the votes wrong, but a stressed eye also read the points incorrectly. When Norway was called back at the end of the vote, the results from the Norwegian jury were clear and correct. "We have good conscience regarding the outcome. The 20 jury members' ballot papers are on the television for control if necessary ”, NRK's Odd Grythe assured.

One of the Norwegian jury members from 1963, Olaf Kjell Wathne Gar, was interviewed by NRK P2 in 2017, and he told about chaotic conditions at NRK Marienlyst during the vote.[17] Gar was a student in 1963, and according to him, Gar and some fellow students were hacked in by NRK in a hurry the same day as the final. They were picked up in taxis and driven to NRK Marienlyst. There they heard the songs twice through loudspeakers in a tiny room. However, the students had decided in advance to vote for Denmark and a few other countries, because they "had the most sympathy for Denmark."

The 20 jury members then voted, and program secretary Einar Johannessen summed up the votes on a chalkboard when London suddenly called. "We were barely half-finished, and at full speed he improvised and scribbled some numbers," Gar said, adding: "It was all so simple and primitive that one would hardly have believed it today". The jury members received NOK 150 each in order to "throw away the Saturday night", which NRK, according to Gar, had called the assignment.


  1. ^ a b c d "Eurovision Song Contest 1963". EBU. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Dyke accused of conflict of interest over £6m holding in rival TV firm". The Independent. London. 17 January 2000.
  3. ^ "And the conductor is..." Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Roxburgh, Gordon (2012). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume One: The 1950s and 1960s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 291–299. ISBN 978-1-84583-065-6.
  5. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1963". The Diggiloo Thrush. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1963". Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Final of London 1963". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 30 March 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  8. ^ "Results of the Final of London 1963". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 30 March 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  9. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1963 – Scoreboard". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 9 July 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Nederlandse televisiecommentatoren bij het Eurovisie Songfestival". Eurovision Artists (in Dutch).
  11. ^ Dyrseth, Seppo (OGAE Norway)
  12. ^ "Selostajat ja taustalaulajat läpi vuosien? • Viisukuppila". Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  13. ^ "". Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  14. ^ Christian Masson. "1963 - Londres". Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  15. ^ Thorsson, Leif (2006). Melodifestivalen genom tiderna [Melodifestivalen through time]. Stockholm: Premium Publishing AB. p. 46. ISBN 91-89136-29-2.
  16. ^ "Boletim do Dia". Diário de Lisboa. 23 March 1963. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Studio 2 - P2". NRK P2. 9 May 2017.

External links[edit]

Media related to Eurovision Song Contest 1963 at Wikimedia Commons