The Eurovision Song Contest was first staged in 1956 by the fledgling Eurovision network designed to bring countries closer together. Great Britain did not enter a song for that first competition, but it did so the next year and managed to come second.
With contributions from alumni of the contest such as Sir Terry Wogan and Graham Norton, this documentary told the story of an institution that grew from being a moderately successful event into the vast behemoth that it is today. With record numbers of countries taking part, it costs a fortune to stage, and the majority of the songs remain resolutely unmemorable. Most countries - Britain included - treat it as something of a joke now, which helps to explain why the Old Country has not won for several years now.
It was certainly fun to see some of the performances of yesteryear from Sandie Shaw, Lulu, Cliff Richard, the Brotherhood of Man, Abba, Nana Mouskouri, Céline Dion, as well as hearing lesser-known artistes singing such standards as "Volare" which actually came second in the year that it was performed.
Yet there were certain glaring omissions, especially from films of the earlier years. The director (or producer) did not identify either Teddy Johnson and Pearl Carr, or Kenneth McKellar, even though both of them finished second in their respective years. Nor did they pay attention to first-time winners such as Turkey, which participated 34 times, winning once in 2003 with Sertab Erener's "Every Way That I Can." The politics of the event were glossed over - especially the fall-out following Conchita Wurst's victory in 2014, when several countries refused to participate in the following year owing to the winner's sexuality.
Nonetheless the program was perfectly adequate for those foolish (or enthusiastic) enough to have made an annual date to watch the event.
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