The Eurovision Song Contest could return to the UK – here’s what happened last time

The Eurovision Song Contest could return to the UK after Sam Ryder finished second at last year’s event and now we’ve looked back at the last time we hosted the competition

Dan International
We could host the Eurovision Song Contest again

The Eurovision Song Contest is a contentious issue for many, but soon it could be inevitable as the competition could be held in the UK next year.

The organizers have contacted the BBC after concluding that Ukraine cannot pass the competition after the Kalush Orchestra won this year, leaving us in a somewhat difficult position.

As the Birmingham live reportswe were second this year with Sam Ryder’s Spaceman so the UK was offered the chance to host the competition – but what happened the last time we hosted Eurovision?

We last had the honor in 1998 when Birmingham rolled up their sleeves and hosted the 43rd edition at the National Indoor Arena.

Terry Wogan and Ulrika Jonsson moderated the event in Birmingham


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We held the event after Katrina and The Waves claimed victory in 1997 with Love Shine A Light.

Terry Wogan and Ulrika Jonsson were the hosts at Brum and we stepped into Nottingham-born Imaani to try to retain the crown. She would compete against 24 other nations, from Macedonia to Israel and Malta to Sweden.

“Welcome One, Welcome All,” said Terry Wogan at the start of the three-hour show. “To paraphrase a football song, Eurovision is coming home!”

Croatia started with Neka mi ne svane by Danijela. The ballad was completed with a costume change and full Croatian lyrics – the countries still had to sing mainly in one of their official languages ​​as late as 1998.

Imaani performed at the competition


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In the center of the field was Germany’s Guildo Horn – you may remember him as the old man with long hair and a sparkly suit and enough energy to carry the competition on his own. He caused a stir when he yelled, “Guildo loves you!” scaffolding at the edge of the stage jumped up. – Guildo loves you!

Imaani Saleem walked in to treat us to the R&B-inspired Where Are You? from the center of the show, dressed in a long red leather coat and with her four backing singers in black. No one knew at the time, but it was almost enough to earn him a second year of Eurovision in the UK.

But we had already seen the winner less than an hour into the show. Dana International has flown in from Israel to blow everyone’s socks off with a proper Eurobeat song, Diva.

Israel won with 172 points, closely followed by Great Britain and Malta with 166 and 165 points respectively. Poor Switzerland had to go home with “zero points” this year – a pain we know well here in the UK.

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As with Eurovision 2022, there was drama behind the scenes. The scoreboard was scrambled when the Spanish team accidentally gave Germany 0 points instead of the 12 they actually voted for, and ten other countries all received a point or two less than what was shown on screen.

Turkey could even have been excluded from the competition altogether. They struggled to meet the three-minute time limit during rehearsals due to pacing issues, but just about pulled through with a performance of 2 minutes and 59 seconds that night.

And with that, Eurovision left the country for Jerusalem and hasn’t returned since. Next year could be a big event for Britain as Glasgow is touted as a possible host city – but wherever it goes it will be without the sarcastic comments of the much missed Terry Wogan.

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