Eurovision might have been on our screens since 1956, but the UK hasn’t had much luck in winning over the years.
In fact, in all of its 66 year history, we’ve only been able to beat the competition and claim the win on five occasions.
Our friends in Ireland have proven the most successful, having won Eurovision seven times. Sweden is close behind with six wins, as their trophies include the victory claimed by chart-topping ABBA.
Fans of the show are hopeful for the first UK win in half a century with Essex-based hopeful Sam Ryder tipped for victory.
The 32-year-old bearded singer will appear on the second half of the show’s grand final this Saturday 14 May, which should help his cause for success.
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He is currently behind Ukraine in the latest betting odds, but his popularity on video platform TikTok could prove fruitful.
The singer, who rose to fame during the lockdown, has over 12m followers and the most followed UK music artist on the video app.
Sam even found fans amongst the skyscrapers of New York City when Alicia Keys posted a video reacting to his cover of her song If I Ain’t Got You.
There’s plenty of pressure on Sam’s shoulders as he prepares to compete in Turin, Italy.
But the singer is confident his song SPACE MAN is the perfect fit for this year’s competition.
In an interview with Ken Bruce on Radio 2, Sam said: “I wrote this song about a year ago with two very close friends of mine and it was kind of the song that started my journey, got record labels interested… so I knew it was really important.
“Anyone that knows me knows that I overthink absolutely everything and I’m glad, though, that I over-thought this because having waited on it, we’ve been given this amazing opportunity with Eurovision to it and give it it’s little moment in the world. I think it’s perfect for it.”
In the meantime, let’s take a look at the UK’s previous winners of Eurovision as we brace for glitter, extravagance and – fingers crossed – a victory in this year’s competition.
Sandie Shaw with Puppet on a String
Sandie Shaw set the bar high in 1967 when she became the UK’s first ever Eurovision winner.
Somewhat shockingly, she openly disliked her song Puppet on a String and performed the track barefoot on stage in Austria and won by a landslide 47 votes.
She once said of her winning single: “I hated it from the very first oompah to the final bang on the big bass drum.”
And yet, credit where it’s due, she was one of the most successful British female singers of the 1960s and had three number one singles.
She parted ways with music to start her own fashion label and host her own TV show, but returned in the 70s.
Sandie later announced her retirement from music in 2013.
Lulu with Boom Bang A Bang
A 20 year old Lulu performed Boom Bang A Bang during Eurovision hosted in Spain in 1969 and won… mostly.
In fact, in an outcome, she came joint first with three other acts scoring all 18 points.
She tied with Spain, Netherlands and France and, seeing as there had been no rules in place to prevent such an outcome, all four were declared winners.
Funnily enough, a new rule was later put in place to prevent such an occurrence from happening again.
Brotherhood of Man with Save Your Kisses for Me
Pop group Brotherhood of Man won in 1976 in The Hague with their song Save Your Kisses for Me.
The band name was an umbrella term for regularly changing group members, but overall they found success in the 70s with two more UK number ones, Angelo and Figaro.
Bucks Fizz with Making Your Mind Up
Perhaps one of the most memorable winners are Bobby G, Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston, better known as Bucks Fizz.
The group made up the minds of the voting public with their performance of Making Your Mind Up, claiming victory in 1981.
In a somewhat scandalous performance, Bobby and Cheryl couldn’t make their minds up about their outfits as the women made a famous quick change with their iconic ‘skirt-ripping’ scene partway through the song.
Katrina and The Waves with Love Shine a Light
Katrina and the Waves had already achieved international fame before Eurovision, but had faded into the background before competing in the contest in 1997.
The band won by a then-record 70 point margin with Love Shine a Light and the track turned out to be their biggest ever UK hit.
But, they split up in 1998 when lead singer Katrina Leskanich left after several rows – and caused a stir when she was spotted kissing comedian Caroline Aherne at a Sony Awards dinner.
The three remaining members dissolved in 1999 and went on to pursue fairly unventful solo careers.
The UK made history in 2021 when London-based singer James Newman, 36, scored null points for his song Embers, and finished in last place.
It’s not the first time Great Britain has finished at the bottom of the table – we landed there in 2008 with Andy Abraham (14 points), in 2010 with Josh Dubovie (10 points) and in 2019 with Michael Rice (11 points).
But it was a particularly harrowing blow after rejoining the competition after a year out due to Covid-19.
Eurovision 2022 kicks off on Tuesday 10 May and UK contestant Sam Ryder will be performing on Saturday 14 May with his song SPACE MAN.
The singing competition runs from Tuesday 10 May to Saturday 14 May.
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