United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1981

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Eurovision Song Contest 1981
Country United Kingdom
National selection
Selection processA Song for Europe
Selection date(s)11 March 1981
Selected entrantBucks Fizz
Selected song"Making Your Mind Up"
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Final result1st, 136 points
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄1980 1981 1982►

The United Kingdom and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) held a national final titled "A Song for Europe 1981" to choose who would represent them in the Eurovision Song Contest 1981. "A Song for Europe 1981" was held on 11 March 1981 where Bucks Fizz was chosen with "Making Your Mind Up" as the entrant. At Eurovision, they placed first winning the competition with 136 points.

A Song for Europe 1981[edit]

The BBC reduced the number of finalists from twelve to eight in 1981. Terry Wogan hosted the contest on 11 March. It was held at the Television Theatre. 581 songs were submitted to the Music Publisher's Association to pick eight songs. The BBC Concert Orchestra under the direction of John Coleman as conductor accompanied all the songs, but all the music was pre-recorded. The show was the 16th most watched programme of the week with a rating of 12.4 million viewers, the highest for three years.[1] Johnny Logan was scheduled to appear as a guest on the programme, but had to cancel shortly before the air date.

Draw Song Composer Artist Points Place
01 "Not Without Your Ticket (Don't Go)" Luís Jardim & Jean Gilbert Headache 50 7th
02 "All Cried Out" Gary Benson Gary Benson 63 =4th
03 "For Only a Day" John Dawson Read & Chris Gunning Unity 38 8th
04 "Wish" Steve Elson & Don Gould Beyond 67 3rd
05 "Making Your Mind Up" Andy Hill & John Danter Bucks Fizz 97 1st
06 "Have You Ever Been in Love?" Andy Hill, Peter Sinfield & John Danter Gem 63 =4th
07 "Where Are You Now" Lindsey Moore Lezlee Carling 56 6th
08 "Don't Panic" Adrian Baker Liquid Gold 70 2nd

Seven regional juries voted on the songs. They were based in Birmingham (spokesperson: David Stevens), Cardiff (Ewan Thomas), Manchester (John Mundy), Belfast (Peter Dixon), Edinburgh (Jim O' Hara), London (Ray Moore) and Bristol (Andy Battern Foster). The regional juries voted internally and awarded 15 points to their favourite song, 12 points to the second, 10 points to the third and then 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5 points in order of preference for the songs from 4th to 8th. Before the reprise, Terry Wogan incorrectly read the title of the winning song as "Where Are You Now." The prizes were presented by Wogan to John Danter, one of the songwriters, and to Mike Nolan, one of the performers.

Headache were: Dave Cooke (husband of Blue Peter presenter Tina Heath), Jean Gilbert, Luis Jardim, Val McKenna and Martyn David.

Unity was led by Sue Glover, who as one half of Sue and Sunny had accompanied Lulu as a backing vocalist when the UK had won the Eurovision Song Contest 1969. Glover also sang backing vocals at the Eurovision Song Contest 1975 for Joy Fleming of Germany and returned to back the British entry in 1985 for Vikki. The remaining members of Unity were five young girls dressed as Edwardian era children and included Annabel Layton, who attempted to represent the UK at Eurovision again in 1985 and former Grange Hill actress Lindy Brill.

Beyond were: Steve Stroud (later Cheryl Baker's husband), Adrian Shepherd (later Cheryl Baker's fiancé), Gary Deans, Alan Ashe and Derek Austin.

The group Gem featured both Andy Hill and Nichola Martin, who produced and managed Bucks Fizz. They changed their name from 'Paris' for the contest and released the single of Have You Ever Been In Love? under that name.

Unusually for the UK competition, three of the finalists reached the UK singles chart. Making Your Mind Up spent three weeks at number one, whilst the runner-up, Don't Panic! reached number 42 at more-or-less the same time. Have You Ever Been In Love? was a UK no.10 hit for Leo Sayer in 1982, also reaching no.4 in Australia. The track was covered by many other artists, including Peter Cetera and Westlife. For Only A Day was later used as the theme song for the 1983 Miss World contest, performed live by all the contestants during the broadcast.

At Eurovision[edit]

1981 was the year that Bucks Fizz won the Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom with their song "Making Your Mind Up". It received 136 points from the 19 juries, beating West Germany's Lena Valaitis with the song "Johnny Blue".

Points Awarded to United Kingdom[edit]

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

Points Awarded by United Kingdom[edit]

12 points   Switzerland
10 points  Cyprus
8 points  Greece
7 points  Germany
6 points  Netherlands
5 points  Denmark
4 points  Israel
3 points  Belgium
2 points  Sweden
1 point  France


  1. ^ Television's Greatest Hits, Network Books, Paul Gambaccini and Rod Taylor, 1993. ISBN 0 563 36247 2

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