United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1990

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Eurovision Song Contest 1990
Country United Kingdom
National selection
Selection processA Song For Europe
Selection date(s)30 March 1990
Selected entrantEmma
Selected song"Give a Little Love Back to the World"
Selected songwriter(s)
Finals performance
Final result6th, 87 points
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
◄1989 1990 1991►

The final selection of the entry for the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1990 was made by popular vote from a choice of eight songs.

National final[edit]

The 1990 edition of A Song for Europe was held in Television Centre, London on 30 March in Studio 1. The BBC Concert Orchestra under the direction of Alyn Ainsworth as conductor accompanied all the songs, but despite performing live, the orchestra were off-screen, behind the set. Terry Wogan presided over the eight finalists and a panel of 'experts' was assembled to comment on each of the entries. The panel was composed of Gloria Hunniford, Tim Rice, Cathy McGowan and Gary Davies.

The eight songs in contention to represent the UK were presented during Terry Wogan's Wogan chat show on BBC1. Two songs were presented during each of four broadcasts between 21 and 28 March. The songs were also featured in various programmes on BBC Radio 2.

A separate results show was broadcast on BBC1 the same evening. BBC Radio 2 simulcast the final and also broadcast the results show, both with commentary by Ken Bruce.

The songs[edit]

Opening the contest was Kelly with a power ballad called "Better Be Good to Me". At the time, Kelly Wilde was an established act on the gay circuit[citation needed].

The second entry was a big show ballad, "That Old Feeling Again" performed by Stephen Lee Garden and composed by former UK entrant Mike Moran.

Thom Hardwell was the singer and composer of the uptempo "Never Give Up", a song which received unfavourable comments from panelist Cathy McGowan.

Composer Paul Curtis, a familiar contest figure between 1975 and 1986, returned to the national final with "Give a Little Love Back to the World". The performer of this anthemic number was 15-year-old Emma from Bridgend.

Perhaps the best-known competitor in 1990 was former Bay City Rollers frontman Les McKeown. His entry was a standard middle-of-the-road rock ballad called "Ball and Chain".

Jewish cantor Simon Spiro sang the ballad "Face in the Crowd".

Kim Goody was a familiar face on children's television in the seventies and eighties. In the national final she sang the nostalgic ballad "Sentimental Again".

Finally, another name from the 1970s, John Miles. He performed another anthemic effort, "Where I Belong", accompanying himself at the piano.


A Song For Europe – 30 March 1990
Draw Artist Song Composer(s) Place Votes
01 Kelly "Better Be Good To Me" John Springate 6 13,179
02 Stephen Lee Garden "That Old Feeling Again" Mike Moran 5 14,447
03 Thom Hardwell "Never Give Up" Thom Hardwell 8 3,540
04 Emma "Give a Little Love Back to the World" Paul Curtis 1 97,625
05 Les McKeown "Ball And Chain" Johnny Griggs, Danny McIntosh 4 15,171
06 Simon Spiro "Face In The Crowd" David Reilly 7 5,551
07 Kim Goody "Sentimental Again" Mo Foster, Kim Goody 3 17,996
08 John Miles "Where I Belong" John Miles, Michael Scanlon-Pratt 2 38,966

As in the last two years, a national telephone vote decided the outcome of the contest. Emma (Booth) from Bridgend, South Wales, won with a runaway phone poll of 97,625 calls over 1970s hitmaker John Miles, who polled 38,966.

At Eurovision[edit]

The final was held in Zagreb, Yugoslavia on 5 May. Emma was supported by several backing singers including Miriam Stockley and Sam Blue. Sam would later sing at UK final 1991 with "The Life you don't yet know" by Nick Spindler and Peter Thompson. Despite being one of the favourites to win, "Give a Little Love Back to the World" only received 87 points and 6th place.

Points awarded by the United Kingdom[edit]

12 points  Iceland
10 points  Ireland
8 points  Austria
7 points  Germany
6 points  Sweden
5 points  Yugoslavia
4 points  Netherlands
3 points  Luxembourg
2 points  Portugal
1 point  Spain
Points awarded to the United Kingdom
12 points 10 points 8 points 7 points 6 points
5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point

See also[edit]