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ON THIS DAY
The Very First Eurovision

Rerun: Spectacle, camp and glamour were NOT on the agenda in Lugano, Switzerland on 24th May, 1956: the inaugural Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast mostly on the radio, and featured a whistling duo as its interval act. Who had to perform twice.

Voting controversy, however, was enshrined in the institution right from the outset – as Judges were permitted to award points to their own nations, and vote in absentia.

In this episode, Rebecca, Olly and Arion reveal which countries have most consistently scored the famous ‘nul points’; consider why the future of the contest seems to lie Eastwards, and revisit Israel’s entry from 1999, ‘Happy Birthday’…

Further Reading:

• Lys Assia wins the first Eurovision for Switzerland: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyqIPvOkiRk

• Facts and Figures from the 1956 contest at the official Eurovision website:

https://eurovision.tv/event/lugano-1956

• Full list of 1956 voting and points from Eurovisionworld:

https://eurovisionworld.com/eurovision/1956

‘Why am I hearing a rerun?’

Each Thursday and Friday we repeat stories from our archive of 800+ episodes, so we can maintain the quality of our independent podcast and bring you fresh, free content every Monday-Wednesday… 

… But 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS🌴members get an additional full-length episode each Sunday! Join now with a free trial on Apple Podcasts or Patreon and support our show ❤️

ON THIS DAY
The Very First Eurovision

Rerun: Spectacle, camp and glamour were NOT on the agenda in Lugano, Switzerland on 24th May, 1956: the inaugural Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast mostly on the radio, and featured a whistling duo as its interval act. Who had to perform twice.

Voting controversy, however, was enshrined in the institution right from the outset – as Judges were permitted to award points to their own nations, and vote in absentia.

In this episode, Rebecca, Olly and Arion reveal which countries have most consistently scored the famous ‘nul points’; consider why the future of the contest seems to lie Eastwards, and revisit Israel’s entry from 1999, ‘Happy Birthday’…

Further Reading:

• Lys Assia wins the first Eurovision for Switzerland: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyqIPvOkiRk

• Facts and Figures from the 1956 contest at the official Eurovision website:

https://eurovision.tv/event/lugano-1956

• Full list of 1956 voting and points from Eurovisionworld:

https://eurovisionworld.com/eurovision/1956

‘Why am I hearing a rerun?’

Each Thursday and Friday we repeat stories from our archive of 800+ episodes, so we can maintain the quality of our independent podcast and bring you fresh, free content every Monday-Wednesday… 

… But 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS🌴members get an additional full-length episode each Sunday! Join now with a free trial on Apple Podcasts or Patreon and support our show ❤️

ON PREVIOUS DAYS:




Join Club Retrospectors

Ditch the ads and get an exclusive Sunday episode every week – all when you join Club Retrospectors on Apple Podcasts.

On our Patreon, there’s three tiers to choose from, each with their own wonderful perks, from ad-free versions to BIRTHDAY SURPRISES.

OLLY MANN

Olly Mann made his name with another trivia-wielding podcast, Answer Me This! with Helen Zaltzman – and now presents The Modern Mann, The Week Unwrapped, and Four Thought for BBC Radio Four. He also has an A-Level in History, so Dan Snow beware.

REBECCA MESSINA

Rebecca got a passion for podcasting  working at The Week magazine and a passion for trivia appearing on University Challenge in 2011, making The Retrospectors her natural home.

ARION MCNICOLL

Arion started out in satirical news in Australia, then moved to the UK to work for ostensibly serious publications including The Times, CNN, and The Week… before realising that since around 2016 the news has all been satire really.

Do you have a day of note that we should cover? Or would you or your business like to support the podcast? Get in touch!

    24 May: The Very First Eurovision

    Rerun: Spectacle, camp and glamour were NOT on the agenda in Lugano, Switzerland on 24th May, 1956: the inaugural Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast mostly on the radio, and featured a whistling duo as its interval act. Who had to perform twice.Voting controversy, however, was enshrined in the institution right…

    22 May: Jerry Lee Lewis's Child Bride

    When Jerry Lee Lewis landed at Heathrow Airport for his first UK tour on 22nd May, 1958, he was met with a flurry of journalists eager for a scoop. Yet just one question brought everything to a halt: "Who are you?". A wide-eyed girl in Lewis's entourage answered: Myra Gale Brown,…

    21 May: Burying Bob Marley

    The funeral for Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley was half religious ceremony, half rock concert on 21st May, 1981.An estimated 100,000 people are believed to have seen Marley’s body lying in state, and the announcement of Jamaica’s national budget was postponed by several days to accommodate his funeral. The casket…

    20 May: How To Survive A Nuclear Bomb

    ‘Protect and Survive’, the UK Government’s pamphlet offering Britons advice on how to navigate the aftermath of a nuclear explosion, was published on 20th May, 1980, following a campaign in The Times.Intended for distribution in times of imminent crisis - and only alongside the broadcast of a series of related…

    17 May: The Man Who Invented The Wild West

    Rerun: Gun totin’, horse ridin’ spectacular ‘Buffalo Bill’s Wild West’ opened in Omaha, Nebraska on 17th May, 1883 - the start of a multi-decade run.With a cast of hundreds, including Calamity Jane, Sitting Bull, and Annie ‘Get Your Gun’ Oakley, it toured the world - and forever shaped the way…