United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1980

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Eurovision Song Contest 1980
Country  United Kingdom
National selection
Selection process A Song For Europe
Selection date(s) 26 March 1980
Selected entrant Prima Donna
Selected song "Love Enough for Two"
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Final result 3rd, 106 points
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄1979 1980 1981►

The 1980 "A Song For Europe" contest was held on 26 March 1980 (the same day as that year's budget), at the BBC Television Theatre in Shepherd's Bush and was hosted by a dinner-suited Terry Wogan. An offscreen orchestra was used, under the charge of John Coleman as conductor. The theme music was "Te deum" the Eurovision theme.

12 songs were chosen by the Music Publisher's Association.

A Song for Europe[edit]

Song number one was by Scramble, a four piece guitar band from Liverpool, formed in 1969. It was written by Peter Morris (who had written "Mary Ann" last year) and was called "Don't Throw Your Love Away". Scramble had already taken part in the 1977 UK final as the group Beano and consisted of Freddie Philips, Ken Smith, Richard Talent and John Birch.

Song number two was by Maggie Moone, a solo singer from Birmingham, singing "Happy Everything". It was written by Geoff Stephens and Don Black.

Song number three was by Plain Sailing, a five-piece group singing "Easy". It was written by Stewart Freeman, a pseudonym of the names of the Stewart brothers (Alan, Colin and Paul Stewart) and Robert Freeman. Other band members are Alan Coulter and Dave Winter.

Song number four was by a Welsh solo singer called Sonja Jones, singing "Here We'll Stay." It was written by Tony Coulton who had been at Song for Europe 1979. Like many of the songs, backing singers could be heard, but not seen on stage. It received top marks from one of the Welsh juries during the voting. This song was later recorded by Frida (of ABBA) and included on her solo album Something's Going On.

Song number five was by the eventual winners Prima Donna, singing "Love Enough for Two". It was written by Stuart Slater and Stephanie de Sykes. The band were especially put together for the contest. At the Eurovision, very little was changed in the performance, except for the colour of their outfits. At the Song for Europe contest, the lead singer, Danny Finn can be clearly seen whispering something to his female partner, Sally-Ann Triplett on two occasions, although it's unknown what was said.

Song number six was by 16-year-old Jacqui Scott, from Blackpool, singing "Symphony for You". She performed solo at a piano, although she did stand up later to sing in front of the piano, suggesting that someone else was playing a piano throughout.

Song number seven was written by Paul Curtis and performed by Duke and the Aces, a five piece group featuring Canadians and an Italian, Bruno Tonioli, also the act's choreographer, who went on to be a judge on Strictly Come Dancing. Also a member of the group was Nicola Martin, who put together the group Bucks Fizz (which featured Cheryl Baker, who was also in this contest) the following year. The other "Aces" were Roland Wollens, Tim Clark and Pippa Urry. The song was called "Love is Alive".

Song number eight, "Everything's Alright", was written and sung by Roy Winston from Oxford. The performance featured five backing singers who were all visible on stage.

Song number nine, "Love Comes, Love Grows", was performed by a duo called Midnite, aka Eddie Howell and Lynne Hillier.

Song number ten was by the Main Event, a band made up of members from Co-Co, who had entered A Song for Europe in 1976 and 1978, winning on that second occasion. It featured Cheryl Baker, who found success with Bucks Fizz a year later. The song was called "Gonna Do My Best".

Song number eleven was by Pussyfoot, a "punk" type band singing "I Want to Be Me" written by Mick Flynn, who was in the band with four women. This song was notable for the fact that it polarized most juries – they either loved it or hated it. The Belfast jury gave it the top mark, and it was the only song to get a perfect score from each of the Irish jury members. Loud cheers were heard from the audience every time votes were given to the band, even if they were low scores.

Song number twelve was by 19-year-old Kim Clark, who had entered the previous year with a similar song. It was called "Surrender" and finished third, two points behind the tied winners. This song was never intended as an entry; former Eurovision entrants The New Seekers were due to enter with their song "Tell me", but it was disqualified when the group released it as a single and performed it on Pebble Mill at One before the contest. Coincidentally, rival performers Donna Jones and Mick Flynn (of Pussyfoot) and Danny Finn (of Prima Donna) were at various times members of The New Seekers, Finn having only just left his former group prior to fronting Prima Donna.

Draw Song Composer Artist Points Place
01 "Don't Throw Your Love Away" Peter Morris Scramble 97 6th
02 "Happy Everything" Geoff Stephens & Don Black Maggie Moone 131 =1st
03 "Easy" Colin Stewart, Alan Stewart, Paul Stewart and Robert Freeman Plain Sailing 111 =4th
04 "Here We'll Stay" Tony Colton & Jean Roussell Sonja Jones 56 11th
05 "Love Enough for Two" Stephanie de Sykes & Stuart Slater Prima Donna 131 =1st
06 "Symphony for You" Johnny Goodison & Keith Mansfield Jacqui Scott 67 8th
07 "Love is Alive" Paul Curtis Duke and the Aces 94 7th
08 "Everything's All Right" Roy Winston Roy Winston 58 10th
09 "Love Comes Love Grows" Gary Sulsh & Stuart Leathwood Midnite 62 9th
10 "Gonna Do My Best" Terry Bradford The Main Event 45 12th
11 "I Want to Be Me" Mick Flynn & Mark Stevens Pussyfoot 111 =4th
12 "Surrender" Richard Gillinson Kim Clark 129 3rd

The twelve songs were voted on by 14 regional juries, who awarded 1-12 points to each song. Each of the 11 jurors awarded 1-5 points to each song, the total scores being added up, with the song earning the most points being awarded 12 points, the second placed song earned 11, the third 10 and so on, down to 1 point for the song with the least number of votes.

The jury spokesperson could be seen on screen awarding the votes, sometimes with the jury members in vision. These were broadcast from the BBC's 14 regional news studios.

Due to a tie break and with the live show quickly running out of time, a clearly flustered Terry Wogan, unsure of what to do in this unprecedented circumstance, returned to the 14 juries who were hastily asked to pick their favorite between songs two and five. Some juries ignored their previous voting and switched allegiance to Prima Donna who won by 8 votes to 6.[1]

Jury Spokespeople[edit]

In vote order:

  • Aberdeen: Gerry Davies,
  • Newcastle: Mike Neville,
  • Plymouth: Donald Heighway,
  • Leeds: Brian Baines,
  • Southampton: Peter McCann,
  • Bangor: Alyn Evans,
  • London: Colin Berry,
  • Cardiff: Ewan Thomas,
  • Birmingham: David Stevens,
  • Glasgow: Douglas Brock,
  • Belfast: Michael Baguley,
  • Bristol: Derek Jones,
  • Norwich: Jill Hewitt,
  • Manchester: John Mundy

At Eurovision[edit]

At the Eurovision itself, "Love Enough for Two" scored 106 points and was positioned third overall. The event took place in The Hague in the Netherlands and was won by Ireland's "What's Another Year?" by Johnny Logan).

Terry Wogan provided the BBC television commentary, whilst Steve Jones provided the BBC Radio 2 commentary. Regular Eurovision radio commentator Ray Moore served as spokesperson for the UK jury.