Eurovision Fun Facts
- Eurovision actually represents a network of communication channels, founded in the Fifties, that links public European TV stations, minimizing the costs of transmitting pan-European news and sports footage. Member countries invented the contest in an effort to shore up programming to justify the network, and the first ESC was held in Switzerland in 1956.
- The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most-watched single events in the world. For example, for the 2001 contest, 95 percent of the Danish viewing public tuned in – the highest percentage in Europe. There are no figures for the total viewing audience in the early years, but during the last few years, the total world viewing ratings are estimated by the EBU as being between 400 and 600 million. The largest single audience with 75 million tuning in was in the former Soviet Union
- The first Eurovision Contest broadcasted in colour was held at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, in 1968.
- The countries experimented with the voting procedure until 1975 when the current system was introduced.
- There is a rule that limits the number of performers to six.
- The youngest ever winner of the Eurovision Song contest was a 13 year old Sandra Kim from Belgium in 1986. As a result, the contestants started to get younger until France sent an 11 and Israel 12 year old to Eurovision 1989
- Turkish Eurovision entry "Opera", in 1983 consisted entirely of the word "opera" being repeated over and over while Spanish entry the same year titled "La la la" contained not less than 138 "la’s"
- Israeli was the first country that was to host the competition two years in a row – in 1979 and 1980. However, they requested a replacement as they didn’t have enough funds so Netherlands offered to stage the contest in Hague. The date for the Eurovision 1980 was set for 19 April without anybody realizing that it was a holy day in Israel for which reason Israel also became the only country not to participated the year after winning Eurovision.
- Ireland hosted Eurovision four times in a row for which reason they asked the EBU to amend the rulebook so they would not be expected to host the contest the following year should they win.
- Johnny Logan won the Eurovision Song Contest two times, in 1980 and 1987.
- Italy didn’t participate in the contest in 1981, 1982, 1994 and will not take part at Eurovision 2008. Reason? Discontent with the standard of music!
- Serbia participated the first time as an independent country in 2007 and won the contest the same year.
- This year’s Eurovision is to be held on the same day as the first one, on 24th May. The only time this has happened before was in 2003. The earliest Eurovision date was in 1957, on 3rd March and the latest was in 1999 when it was held on 29th May.
For the first time this year, Eurovision will have two semi-finals.