Eurovision Song Contest 1968
|Eurovision Song Contest 1968|
|Final||6 April 1968|
|Venue||Royal Albert Hall|
London, United Kingdom
|Musical director||Norrie Paramor|
|Directed by||Stewart Morris|
|Executive supervisor||Clifford Brown|
|Executive producer||Tom Sloan|
|Host broadcaster||British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)|
|Interval act||Impressions from London|
|Number of entries||17|
|Voting system||Ten-member juries distributed ten points among their favourite songs.|
|Winning song|| Spain|
"La, la, la"
The Eurovision Song Contest 1968 was the 13th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in London, United Kingdom, following the country's victory at the 1967 contest with the song "Puppet on a String" by Sandie Shaw. 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.
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.
Vote rigging allegations
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, 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. 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.).
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. 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.
All countries that participated in 1967 also participated in 1968.
- Portugal – Joaquim Luís Gomes
- Netherlands – Dolf van der Linden
- Belgium – Henri Segers
- Austria – Robert Opratko
- Luxembourg – André Borly
- Switzerland – Mario Robbiani
- Monaco – Michel Colombier
- Sweden – Mats Olsson
- Finland – Ossi Runne
- France – Alain Goraguer
- Italy – Giancarlo Chiaramello
- United Kingdom – Norrie Paramor
- Norway – Øivind Bergh
- Ireland – Noel Kelehan
- Spain – Rafael Ibarbia
- Germany – Horst Jankowski
- Yugoslavia – Miljenko Prohaska
Bold indicates a previous winner.
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.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2021)
Listed below is 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.
- Portugal – Maria Manuela Furtado
- Netherlands – Warry van Kampen
- Belgium – André Hagon
- Austria – Walter Richard Langer
- Luxembourg – TBC
- Switzerland – Alexandre Burger
- Monaco – TBC
- Sweden – Edvard Matz
- Finland – Poppe Berg
- France – Jean-Claude Massoulier
- Italy – Mike Bongiorno
- United Kingdom – Michael Aspel
- Norway – Sverre Christophersen
- Ireland – Gay Byrne
- Spain – Ramón Rivera
- Germany – Hans-Otto Grünefeldt
- Yugoslavia – Snežana Lipkovska-Hadžinaumova
This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2021)
Each national broadcaster also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language.
|East Germany||Deutscher Fernsehfunk||Unknown|||
|Soviet Union||CT USSR||Unknown|||
National jury members
- Portugal – Maria Helena Oliveira Simões (housewife), Madalena Iglésias (singer), Maria João Aguiar (TV and radio presenter), Isabel Maria Spencer Vieira Martins (college student), António Reis (publishing director), José Joaquim Machado Leite (office secretary), António Moniz Pereira (member of the group Quarteto 1111), Bernardo Manuel Palma Mira Delgado (mechanical engineer), Luís Fernando Cardoso Nandim de Carvalho (university student), Pedro Manuel Mota Vaz do Castelo (radio presenter)
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