United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1969

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Eurovision Song Contest 1969
Country United Kingdom
National selection
Selection processA Song For Europe
Selection date(s)22 February 1969
Selected entrantLulu
Selected song"Boom Bang-a-Bang"
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Final result1st (tie), 18 points
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄1968 1969 1970►

The United Kingdom held a televised national pre-selection broadcast on BBC1 to choose the song that would go to the Eurovision Song Contest 1969 with Scottish singer Lulu chosen to represent the UK. After performing all six songs weekly on her eponymous TV series Lulu, the final was held on 22 February 1969 and presented by Michael Aspel. Of the six finalists, song No.4, I Can't Go On Living Without You, was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, before both found songwriting fame. John recorded the track as a demo which later became available on CD. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice also submitted a song called Try It and See but this failed to reach the final. They later reworked the track and it became King Herod's Song in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar.

Viewers cast votes on postcards via mail to choose the winner. The winning song, announced on 1 March, with 56,476 votes, was Boom Bang-a-Bang. This was released on single, with the runner-up March! on the B-Side and reached No.2 in the UK singles chart, remaining Lulu's most successful solo single of her career in Britain. She also reportedly recorded the winner in French, Italian, German and Spanish. A third song from the competition Come September, co-written by Mark London, the husband of Lulu's manager Marion Massey, was released later in 1969 as an album track on the LP Lulu's Album. Eventually, all six recordings of the songs by Lulu were made available on various CD compilations. Former Eurovision winner Grethe Ingmann and German contestant Heidi Brühl (who had both taken part in the Eurovision Song Contest 1963) recorded a Danish and German version of the winning song respectively. Other Eurovision artists recorded versions of the songs from the UK final. Swedish singer (and future Eurovision winner) Agnetha Fältskog recorded a version of Are You Ready For Love? under the title Ge Dej Till Tåls. Finland's Katri Helena recorded Come September as Taas Kun Tuulee, while another Finnish version was recorded by Jarkko & Laura under the title Kahden Ollaan. Jarkko & Laura were competitors against Lulu in the 1969 Eurovision final. Gloria Hunniford also recorded Are You Ready For Love? in the UK. In Britain, Cilla Black, Sandie Shaw and Polly Brown all recorded versions of I Can't Go On Living Without You.

Although technically a joint win in terms of points between four countries; four countries (the United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands and France) won the contest, the first time ever a tie-break situation had occurred. However, there was no rule at the time to cover such an eventuality, so all four countries were declared joint winners.

France's win was their fourth. France became the first country to win the contest four times. The Netherlands' win was their third. Spain and the United Kingdom each won for the second time. And it was the first time that any country (Spain, in this case) had a winning ESC entry two years in a row.

David Gell provided the television commentary for BBC 1 at the Eurovision final on 29 March, Michael Aspel was acting as the standby commentator. Pete Murray provided the commentary for BBC Radio 1 listeners and John Russell provided the commentary for British Forces Radio.

Results[edit]

Artist Song Place Points
Lulu Are You Ready For Love? 5 5,560
Lulu March! 2 38,418
Lulu Come September 3 11,362
Lulu I Can't Go On Living Without You 6 5,087
Lulu Boom Bang-A-Bang 1 56,476
Lulu Bet Yer 4 8,306
The table is ordered by appearance.

The results were announced on Saturday 1 March. Song No. 5, "Boom Bang-a-Bang", won the public postcard vote, and went on to finish in a four-way win in Madrid with the songs from host country Spain, plus the Netherlands and France.

At Eurovision[edit]

Voting[edit]

Every country had a jury of ten people. Every jury member could give one point to his or her favourite song.[1]

Points Awarded to the United Kingdom[edit]

Points Awarded to the United Kingdom[1]
10 points 9 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point

Points Awarded by the United Kingdom[1][edit]

4 points  France
3 points  Belgium
2 points   Switzerland
1 point  Ireland

References[edit]