Eurovision Song Contest 1968

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Eurovision Song Contest 1968
ESC 1968 logo.png
Final6 April 1968
VenueRoyal Albert Hall
London, United Kingdom
Presenter(s)Katie Boyle
ConductorNorrie Paramor
Directed byStewart Morris
Executive supervisorClifford Brown
Executive producerTom Sloan
Host broadcasterBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Interval actImpressions from London Edit this at Wikidata
Number of entries17
Debuting countriesNone
Returning countriesNone
Non-returning countriesNone
Voting systemTen-member juries distributed ten points among their favourite songs.
Nul pointsNone
Winning song Spain
"La, la, la"

The Eurovision Song Contest 1968 was the 13th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in London, United Kingdom, following Sandie Shaw's win at the 1967 contest in Vienna, Austria, with the song "Puppet on a String". It was the third time the event took place in the UK; after the 1960 and 1963 editions, both of which also took place in London. The contest was held at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 6 April 1968, and was hosted by Katie Boyle (for the third time). Seventeen countries participated in the contest.

The winner was Spain with the song "La, la, la", performed by Massiel, and written/composed by Manuel de la Calva and Ramón Arcusa. This was Spain's first victory - and their first ever top five placing - in the contest. This was also first victory for the country from the Iberian Peninsula.

Prior to the contest, the United Kingdom's entry, Cliff Richard with the song "Congratulations", was hotly tipped as the favourite to win, but lost out to Spain's Massiel by a margin of just one point. Originally Spain entered Joan Manuel Serrat to sing "La La La", but his demand to sing in Catalan was an affront to the Francoist State dictatorship. Serrat was replaced by Massiel, who sang the same song in Spanish.[1]


Royal Albert Hall, London - host venue of the 1968 contest.

The contest was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The Royal Albert Hall is known for hosting the world's leading artists from several performance genres, sports, award ceremonies, the annual summer Proms concerts and other events since its opening in 1871, and has become one of the United Kingdom's most treasured and distinctive buildings.


1968 was the first time that the Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast in colour. The countries that broadcast it in colour were France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, although in the UK it was broadcast as an encore presentation in colour on BBC Two the next day. Also all of Eastern Europe and Tunisia broadcast the contest. Katie Boyle hosted the contest for a third time.[1]

Vote rigging allegations[edit]

In May 2008, a documentary by Spanish film-maker Montse Fernández Villa, 1968. Yo viví el mayo español, centred on the effects of May 1968 in Francoist Spain,[2] and alleged that the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest was rigged by the Spanish caudillo Francisco Franco, who would have sent state television officials across Europe offering cash and promising to buy television series and contract unknown artists.[3] The allegation was based on a testimony by journalist José María Íñigo, a TVE employee at the time, who claimed the rigging was common knowledge and suggested that Spanish record label representatives offered to release albums by Bulgarian and Czech artists (neither Bulgaria nor Czechoslovakia were members of the European Broadcasting Union at the time, though in the 1968 Contest, Austria was represented by Karel Gott, who was from Czechoslovakia.).[4]

The documentary claimed that the contest should in fact have been won by the United Kingdom's entry – "Congratulations" performed by Cliff Richard – which finished second by one vote.[5] Massiel, the performer of the winning entry, was outraged by the allegations, and claimed that if there had been fixes, "other singers, who were more keen on Francoist Spain, would have benefited". José María Iñigo, author of the statement in the documentary, personally apologized to Massiel and said that he had repeated a widespread rumour. Both Massiel and Iñigo accused television channel La Sexta, broadcaster of the documentary, of manufacturing the scandal.[6]

Participating countries[edit]

All countries that participated in 1967 also participated in 1968.[1]


Each performance had a maestro who conducted the orchestra.[7]

Returning artists[edit]

Only one artist returned in this year's contest. The winner of the 1962 contest, Isabelle Aubret, returned once more for France.[1]


Draw Country Artist Song Language[8] Place Points
01  Portugal Carlos Mendes "Verão" Portuguese 11 5
02  Netherlands Ronnie Tober "Morgen" Dutch 16 1
03  Belgium Claude Lombard "Quand tu reviendras" French 7 8
04  Austria Karel Gott "Tausend Fenster" German 13 2
05  Luxembourg Chris Baldo & Sophie Garel "Nous vivrons d'amour" French 11 5
06   Switzerland Gianni Mascolo "Guardando il sole" Italian 13 2
07  Monaco Line & Willy "À chacun sa chanson" French 7 8
08  Sweden Claes-Göran Hederström "Det börjar verka kärlek, banne mej" Swedish 5 15
09  Finland Kristina Hautala "Kun kello käy" Finnish 16 1
10  France Isabelle Aubret "La source" French 3 20
11  Italy Sergio Endrigo "Marianne" Italian 10 7
12  United Kingdom Cliff Richard "Congratulations" English 2 28
13  Norway Odd Børre "Stress" Norwegian 13 2
14  Ireland Pat McGuigan "Chance of a Lifetime" English 4 18
15  Spain Massiel "La, la, la" Spanish 1 29
16  Germany Wenche Myhre "Ein Hoch der Liebe" German 6 11
17  Yugoslavia Dubrovački trubaduri "Jedan dan" Croatian 7 8


Due to a misunderstanding by the hostess, Katie Boyle, Switzerland were erroneously awarded 3 points by Yugoslavia, instead of 2. The scrutineer asked for the Yugoslav votes from TV Skopje to be announced a second time.

Total score
United Kingdom
Portugal 5 2 3
Netherlands 1 1
Belgium 8 1 1 1 3 1 1
Austria 2 2
Luxembourg 5 1 1 1 1 1
Switzerland 2 2
Monaco 8 2 1 3 1 1
Sweden 15 1 1 1 2 6 4
Finland 1 1
France 20 3 6 2 3 3 1 2
Italy 7 1 2 2 2
United Kingdom 28 1 2 2 1 4 5 3 2 4 1 1 2
Norway 2 1 1
Ireland 18 1 1 1 4 1 4 6
Spain 29 4 2 1 4 3 4 3 1 1 6
Germany 11 1 1 2 5 2
Yugoslavia 8 1 1 1 1 3 1

International broadcasts and voting[edit]

The table below shows the order in which votes were cast during the 1968 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country. Each national broadcaster also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language. Details of the commentators and the broadcasting station for which they represented are also included in the table below.[1]

Voting order Country Spokespersons Commentator Broadcaster
01  Portugal Maria Manuela Furtado Fialho Gouveia RTP
02  Netherlands Warry van Kampen[9] Elles Berger Nederland 1[10]
03  Belgium André Hagon Paule Herreman RTB
Herman Verelst BRT
04  Austria Walter Richard Langer Willy Kralik ORF
05  Luxembourg TBC Jacques Navadic Télé-Luxembourg
06   Switzerland Alexandre Burger Theodor Haller TV DRS
Georges Hardy TSR
Giovanni Bertini TSI
07  Monaco TBC Pierre Tchernia Télé Monte Carlo
08  Sweden Edvard Matz[11] Christina Hansegård[12] Sveriges Radio-TV
09  Finland Poppe Berg[13] Aarno Walli[14] TV-ohjelma 1
10  France Jean-Claude Massoulier[15] Pierre Tchernia[16] Deuxième Chaîne ORTF
11  Italy Mike Bongiorno Renato Tagliani Secondo Programma
12  United Kingdom Michael Aspel No commentator BBC1
Pete Murray[17] BBC Radio 1
13  Norway Sverre Christophersen[18] Roald Øyen NRK[19]
14  Ireland Gay Byrne Brendan O'Reilly RTÉ Television
Kevin Roche Radio Éireann
15  Spain Ramón Rivera Federico Gallo TVE1
José María Íñigo Cadena SER[20]
16  Germany Hans-Otto Grünefeldt Hans-Joachim Rauschenbach ARD Deutsches Fernsehen
17  Yugoslavia Snežana Lipkovska-Hadžinaumova Miloje Orlović Televizija Beograd
Mladen Delić Televizija Zagreb
Tomaž Terček Televizija Ljubljana

Non-participating countries[edit]

Several non-participating countries also decided to broadcast the contest on their respective television stations.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Eurovision Song Contest 1968". EBU. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Massiel sí, Madelman no: así fue el Mayo del 68 en España". Público (in Spanish). 3 May 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  3. ^ "TVE 'compró' los votos para que Massiel ganará Eurovisión". 20 minutos (in Spanish). 5 May 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  4. ^ "Vea el vídeo donde José Maríá Iñigo 'descubre' a Massiel". 20 minutos (in Spanish). 5 May 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  5. ^ Govan, Fiona (4 May 2008). "How Franco cheated Cliff out of Eurovision title". The Telegraph. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  6. ^ "Massiel e Iñigo acusan a La Sexta de "urdir todo para favorecer a Chiquilicuatre"". El Mundo (in Spanish). 6 May 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2009.
  7. ^ "Conductors 1968". Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  8. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1968". The Diggiloo Thrush. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Songfestival eindigde in mineur bij BBC", het Parool, 8 April 1968
  10. ^ "Nederlandse televisiecommentatoren bij het Eurovisie Songfestival". Eurovision Artists (in Dutch).
  11. ^ Archived 18 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Leif Thorsson. Melodifestivalen genom tiderna ["Melodifestivalen through time"] (2006), p. 74. Stockholm: Premium Publishing AB. ISBN 91-89136-29-2
  13. ^ Selostajat ja taustalaulajat läpi vuosien? (in Finnish) Viisukuppila, 18 April 2005
  14. ^ The Eurovision Song Contest (1968) - Full cast and crew IMDb
  15. ^ Tchernia, Pierre et al. (6 April 1968). 13ème Concours Eurovision de la Chanson 1969 [13th Eurovision Song Contest 1968] (Television production). United Kingdom: BBC, ORTF (commentary).
  16. ^ CONCOURS EUROVISION DE LA CHANSON 1968 (in French) SongContest
  17. ^ Eurovision Song Contest 1968 Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Dyrseth, Seppo (OGAE Norway)
  19. ^[dead link]
  20. ^ Spanish Eurovision commentator José María Iñigo passed away

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′03.40″N 00°10′38.77″W / 51.5009444°N 0.1774361°W / 51.5009444; -0.1774361