United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1976

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Eurovision Song Contest 1976
Country United Kingdom
National selection
Selection processA Song For Europe
Selection date(s)25 February 1976
Selected entrantBrotherhood of Man
Selected song"Save Your Kisses For Me"
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Final result1st, 168 points
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄1975 1976 1977►

The United Kingdom held a national preselection to choose the song that would go to the Eurovision Song Contest 1976. It took place on 25 February 1976 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. For the first time since 1964 a single act did not perform each of the nominated songs with rather each song being performed by a different act. Michael Aspel acted as presenter for the event.[1]

A Song for Europe was watched in 6.3 million homes (giving it a general viewing figure of 12.6 million viewers), and finishing as the 18th-most watched programme of the week.

"Save Your Kisses for Me" won the national final, performed on stage with dance moves and four brightly dressed singers, it ultimately went on to win the Eurovision Song Contest itself and become a UK No.1 single, the group had a 2 further UK No.1 singles over the next 18 months. The track was the biggest selling single of 1976 in the UK and the sixth biggest selling for the 1970s in Britain, with sales well in excess of 1 million copies. Globally, the track attained sales of over 6 million, making it the biggest selling winning single in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest.[2]

By scoring 164 points out of a possible maximum of 204, the UK achieved the highest relative score ever reached under the "Douze Points" voting system inaugurated in the Eurovision Song Contest 1975 and used ever since, with 80.40% of the possible score attained. No song has ever achieved this since, although previously in 1973, Luxembourg's winning entry scored 80.60% under a different voting system.[2]

Michael Aspel also provided the television commentary for the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest for BBC 1, Terry Wogan once again provided the radio commentary for BBC Radio 2 listeners and Andrew Pastouna provided commentary for British Forces Radio. Ray Moore acted as spokesperson for the UK Jury results.[3]

Results[edit]

Fourteen regional juries voted on the songs: Bristol, Bangor, Leeds, Norwich, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff, Plymouth, Glasgow, Southampton and London. Each jury ranked the songs 1-12, awarding 12 points for their favourite down to 1 point for their least preferred.

Artist Song Place Points
Co-Co Wake up 2 138
Polly Brown Do You Believe in Love at First Sight 10 71
Brotherhood of Man Save Your Kisses for Me 1 140
Hazel Dean I Couldn't Live Without You for a Day 8 77
Champagne A Love for All Seasons 8 77
Frank Ifield Ain't Gonna Take No for an Answer 12 21
Sunshine Maria 7 80
Tammy Jones Love's a Carousel 6 97
Joey Valentine Going to the Movies 11 52
Sweet Dreams Love, Kiss and Run 4 109
Louise Jane White Take the Money and Run 5 100
Tony Christie Queen of the Mardi Gras 3 129
The table is ordered by appearance.

The songs were backed by the Alyn Ainsworth Orchestra. A Song for Europe was watched in 6.3 million homes (giving it a general viewing figure of 12.6 million viewers), and finishing as the 18th-most watched programme of the week.[1] "Save Your Kisses for Me" won the national final and ultimately went on to win the Eurovision Song Contest itself.

At Eurovision[edit]

Points Awarded to the United Kingdom[edit]

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

Points Awarded by the United Kingdom[4][edit]

12 points   Switzerland
10 points  Ireland
8 points  France
7 points  Belgium
6 points  Israel
5 points  Monaco
4 points  Austria
3 points  Spain
2 points  Finland
1 point  Italy

Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

"Save Your Kisses for Me" was one of fourteen Eurovision songs selected by fans to compete in the Congratulations 50th anniversary special in 2005. In spite of it and another British entry ("Congratulations") being among the participating songs, as well as the presence of Katrina Leskanich (of the UK's victorious 1997 act Katrina and the Waves) as co-host, the United Kingdom did not broadcast Congratulations as they felt it wouldn't attract enough of an audience. They opted to create their own special, Boom Bang-a-Bang: 50 Years of Eurovision, hosted by 1998 host and longtime British commentator Sir Terry Wogan.

The song was drawn to appear thirteenth in the running order, following "Hold Me Now" by Johnny Logan and preceding "My Number One" by Helena Paparizou. At the end of the first round, "Save Your Kisses for Me" was announced as one of the five songs advancing to the final round. It was later revealed that the song finished fifth, scoring 154 points.

"Save Your Kisses for Me" ultimately finished fifth in the final round, scoring 230 points (including, as in 1976, a maximum 12 from Israel).

Points awarded to "Save Your Kisses for Me" (Congratulations)[edit]

Points awarded to "Save Your Kisses for Me" (Round 1)
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
Points awarded to "Save Your Kisses for Me" (Round 2)
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Television's Greatest Hits, Network Books, Paul Gambaccini and Rod Taylor, 1993. ISBN 0 563 36247 2
  2. ^ a b O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official Celebration. Carlton Books Ltd (9 April 2015). ISBN 978-1780976389
  3. ^ Roxburgh, Gordon (2014). Songs For Europe - The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest Volume Two: The 1970's. UK: Telos Publishing. p. 231. ISBN 978-1-84583-065-6.
  4. ^ a b Eurovision Song Contest 1976