25 YEARS - 1970s

25 YEARS - 1980s

25 YEARS - 1990s

25 YEARS - 2000s

25 YEARS - 2010s


    Click the pictures above for a review of the 70s, 80s, 90s and the 10s.... 


From 2000, the invited/balloted audience idea became a thing of the past. Swedish Television ( SVT ) opened up the Contest to the biggest live audience yet when they decided to host the Contest in the Globe Arena in Stockholm . Tickets must have been fairly easy to come by as I ended up with 6. Off to Stockholm we went and had a great time. What a wonderful city and what a welcoming nationality. This was a huge arena, by Eurovision standards and we were laden with flags and smiles and ready to party.


The Friday night rehearsal was becoming a bit of a tradition (and is to this day) – it’s the time when I take in all the songs with their fairly even production standard (compared to national final differences) and in the agreed order of presentation, with whatever effects were 


being used. After the rehearsal I touted Denmark , to many of my friend’s disgust. Oops! I also thought Latvia and Estonia were in with a shout. A great show and a good solid winner. We were staying in Scandinavia ! Not a great result for the UK , but we will play that song again!


In 2000, SVT (on request) sent me the international feed (without commentary) video, which I treasured. I could watch the Contest over and over without hearing any BBC commentary – heaven! It also includes the quiet time before the show when the Mexican Waves start and final technical checks are made (*). That exciting time that anyone who has attended a Contest will have experienced. Can any fan really explain that moment when the Eurovision Anthem rings out at the start of the Final each year? Its like our very own National Anthem, no?

(*) you can now see that on Youtube, minus the Mexican waves ;-)  


In 2001, we were heading for Denmark . DR chose the Parken Stadium for the Contest and this seemed exciting as it was going to be the biggest arena yet for a Eurovision Song Contest – something like 38,000 in the venue for the final. Sadly, this turned out to be my least favourite Eurovision journey. I had already been very disappointed with the famous Copenhagen Mermaid, although I do remember a fun evening at Nyhavn, which is indeed lovely. At the Contest, it is the only time that I have ever been refused to take a camera into the arena and was directed (by very sullen security) to leave it in a plastic bag at coat check. It is also the only time I have known alcohol to be served during the show and indeed the only time I have had beer spilled over me from the seats behind, by people getting more and more drunk as the show went on. The presenters’ persistence in rhyming everything was really weird, people were chattering throughout and on the whole I did not enjoy the experience. Something I did enjoy was Estonia pipping Denmark tovictory – a win that Friday’s rehearsal had hinted at for me, again much to friend’s disbelief. Haha. The whole experience was not positive, but I retrieved my camera and wondered if I’d make it to Estonia in 2002, or if they would even be able to host it there? 2001 could have brought a halt to my annual obsession, but I wasn’t that deflated after all….  


2002 and another year without accreditation, but a very new destination that was not be missed. Tallinn was our target and Mr Cross and I managed to get tickets for the final (and the obligatory Friday rehearsal), so off we flew, via Helsinki …. Tallinn really restored my faith in the Contest…. a great venue, a proud nation, a beautiful city and a country reveling in its international spotlight. Estonia was the first eastern country to win the Contest and how proud they were of that. Europe was opening up and we were delighted to spend some time in the Estonian capital. A Large screen had been erected in the Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats ) and we went flag shopping in Stockmann, where you could also buy Eurovision chocolate – something that should be obligatory! We made some new contacts on this trip too, both on the flight (Andrew and David – don’t forget the bag left on the plane) and while shopping in the city (Mark and Judith, fellow flag buyers!). The sun was shining, the food and drink was perfect and the Contest was shaping up to be a good one. At the Friday rehearsal, I felt that Latvia ’s Marie N could win it (although I wasn’t so keen on the revamped version of the song), but also had special hopes for the UK ’s Welsh singer (Jessica Garlick) and Spain ’s Rosa .  


2002 - A proud Welshman in Tallinn


We had great seats inside the catwalk area for the final. Looking across the catwalk, we saw Silvi Vrait, Maarja-Liis Ilus and Koit Toome and for the first time I was spotted in the audience back home during a few of the songs and falling off my chair at the end when Marie N won – result.


2002 - Spanish friends, Andrew C, Andrew B and David, Tallinn main Square, Helsinki Steps, On Stage, Latvia wins!


A day trip to Helsinki on the Sunday by hydrofoil was exciting, even if I did leave my passport in the Hotel and had to run back for it. Helsinki did feel closed though – eerily quiet streets and very few people anywhere. We thoroughly enjoyed it though and figuring we were unlikely to visit Helsinki for Eurovision anytime soon, this trip felt compulsory! I was also pretty mesmerised by the fact that this trip to Estonia was the first time I had ever set foot on old USSR territory, brought home by the fact that some of the port structures had been created for the Moscow Olympics of 1980 when yachting was held in Tallinn. I still think of Tallinn ’s old town as one of the most unique and special places that I have visited with Eurovision.


So to Latvia in 2003. Air Baltic helped us get to Riga and I think we must have had the nearest hotel (Tia?) to a venue that I have ever stayed in, literally just around the corner from the Skonto Stadium and with its own lift guard. Riga was an impressive city but somehow felt more ‘Soviet’ than neighbouring Tallinn had. Maybe it was all the soldiers in evidence guarding memorials or maybe it was the solemn Occupation Museum we visited… but anyway, we still had a great time and let’s not forget the Panorama bar with its amazing views over the city. 


I have to say that the Eurovision long weekend was working fine and I didn’t miss the frenetic experience of accreditation and a week of rushing from rehearsals to press conferences to receptions to parties. It had become a great fun weekend with good friends and I loved it. I had taken a Union Jack flag to the Contest since 2000 and a Welsh one since 2002. However in 2003, as soon as Jemini started to sing, I quietly dropped the flag on the floor. I could not believe how bad it sounded. A Spanish lady turned around and asked how we had selected it. This wasn’t going to end well….. My unusual favourite that year was Bosnia and Herzegovina , but their static performance of a very upbeat song ruined their chances I thought. At the Rehearsal on the Friday night I had come away thinking it would either be Poland or Turkey , but could either of them really win? Sertab Erener really shone through at the final and we were getting excited that it could be in Turkey next year. It was close though, as we know, but Turkey ended up a very popular winner and potentially a very popular destination in 2004.


2003 - Sights, no sounds


Wow, 2004 and we were heading east again, but this time to the south. Istanbul was too good a destination to miss and even though we did not have accreditation, Douwe and I decided to make a week of it and experience the City. We travelled with our partners and had a great week seeing the sights and savouring the atmosphere. We arrived and despite the totally crazy taxi ride in to the city (I have never seen one taxi drive shake hands with another, as the 2 taxis are moving along the road – and not slowly!), we arrived in one piece and were ready for anything. Istanbul has to be one of the most special cities on the planet and I would go back anytime. As for the Contest, the arena was a crazy taxi ride away and of course we had a Semi Final to enjoy for the first time too. A whole new feeling of ‘will my favourites make the final’ was experienced on Semi Final night and on the whole they did. Only once since the semi finals were introduced have I picked more than 7 of the actual finalists, but there have not been many occasions where I haven disappointed, although in 2004 I had expected Slovenia to make the final and I was a little disappointed for Andorra’s first attempt and Monaco’s return.   


In the final, I expected it to be Greece , Belgium or maybe Ukraine , although I did think that Ukraine was too new to the Contest for people to appreciate them musically. I was happy to share my Welsh flag with Europe too, having a Welshman representing the UK in the guise of James Fox, but I was sure we wouldn’t be in the top 10 though. I was right about that and not too far off with the winner. A Ukrainian win in Turkey . Crikey we could be going even further east! It was nice though that the Contest was staying in southern Europe and I will always carry special memories from this time in Istanbul – the museums, the palaces, the mosques, the Bosphorus, bumping into Ramon at the Blue Mosque and Linda Martin at the arena (memory tests of 1992!)…   


Could I keep going with this? Was I getting too old for it? I couldn’t tell if it was becoming even more of an obsession, or maybe an obligation, or perhaps just a joy….!   


2004 - Istanbul, Linda Martin, Ramon and the Arena


A year later and it was proving very difficult to get tickets for Kyiv (the correct/new spelling for Kiev !). A year after their orange revolution and shrouded in some secrecy, the contest was being planned with Presidential/government involvement. I wondered if the British Queen or Prime Minister would show the slightest interest if the contest was to come to the UK again. Hmmmm…..  

The usual channels for buying tickets picked totally fruitless, for the first time ever. It was strange and we felt remote from it. A lot of the web site detail was only in Ukrainian and the purchase process took me around in loops, or just failed. It seemed we wouldn’t be going and I began to feel that maybe NTU (Ukraine TV) were aiming to have a more partisan audience, rather than selling the majority of tickets internationally. I don’t know if that was the case, but it was frustrating not to acquire tickets through the normal channels. So, I had the idea of contacting Mr Stockselius, executive supervisor of the Contest at that time, to find out what was going on and to tactfully put my point across about the frustrating ticket situation. To my amazement, I received a reply in which Mr Stockselius agreed with my ‘plight’ and copied in the organising management at NTU. I wasn’t sure where this would go, but out of the blue I then received an email from NTU asking me how many tickets I would like and apologising for the problems I had encountered. I asked for 4 for the final and the semi final and duly received all the relevant papers for signing and returning. Separately we were able to source tickets for the obligatory Friday rehearsal, so all of a sudden I was off, with David and the 2 Andrews, to Kyiv! Amazing!


Oh Vienna ! We flew via Vienna and had the most pointless mad dash through an airport that I have ever known. Our incoming flight was delayed, but we were told they would hold our connection. We already had a boarding pass for the second flight, with a gate number. We landed in Vienna and discovering that the gate for the next flight was right across the other side of the airport, ran like idiots through the terminal, queue jumping a long passport check queue for the area the flight was going from (to some disgusted looks) and finally made it to the gate, only to find that there was no flight going from there. A quick check of a departures board showed that the departure had changed to a different gate, way back over on the side of the airport we had just run from. Dash number 2 was even more embarrassing as we had to push back passed the passport queue that we’d already jumped going in the opposite direction. Pretty exhausted we finally made the correct gate and boarded just in time. It was only when we boarded that we realised that this was the exact same plane that we’d flown in to Vienna on! Grrrrrrrrrrrr! Funny now looking back but at the time, we were a little frayed.  


We landed in Kyiv and the Ukrainian government had suspended visas for Eurovision, which a great gesture and speeded up the arrivals process. David had booked us an apartment (I use the term loosely) close to Maidan Square , but it was to prove to be a fantastic location. To get there, a pickup had been arranged and the four of us were led from the Terminal towards a row of vehicles, including some Russian style Limousines. Sadly, our lift was via a Lada that had seen better days and our driver didn’t speak a lot of English. We were stuffed into that car, which had to be stopped a couple of times so the driver could add water to the radiator and careered into the city, with the driver seemingly cursing the odd oligarch as we drove. We did think we’d have to push it at one point, but let’s leave that story for Belgrade .  


I was a long way from that 11 year old lad in Cardiff now. The eastern extremes of Europe in a city with an amazing history and a recently revamped national pride. It felt good to be here and even better when we realised that our ‘apartment’ was brilliantly located. One of the main roads leading to the Maidan Square was practically outside the building, with the Square itself a few hundred metres away. The Olympic Hall was a 20 to 30 minute walk in the other direction and this key road was festooned for Eurovision with a non-stop party atmosphere. The songs of Eurovision 2005 rang out across Maidan Square , all the locals were so friendly and keen to know where we were from, the beer was so cheap, as was the Krug champagne and David and Andrew took a shine to Ukrainian Caviar too, but that was not for me. I remember some grand restaurants, some very hot days and some very very rainy nights. We’d heard rumours that the Ukrainians were ‘bombing’ the clouds at night to force it to rain so that the day times were dry and sunny. If it was true, it worked, as we never saw rain in daylight!  

now looking back but at the time, we were a little frayed.  


The tickets were handed over at the venue through a very small opening in an opaque window which looked into a very dark office. A quick check revealed that all the tickets were there, so we could finally relax and enjoy the experience. We had arrived the day of the semi final and had had a very early start in London . We hadn’t really thought this through, as the Semi Final started really late ( 11pm ?) and the Semi Final with 25 songs seemed to go on forever. I think this was the first time ever that I have felt the slightest bit bored at a Eurovision, as well as being rather tired. I was disappointed for the Netherlands and Iceland this year, but on the whole those that made the final were about right.  Sadly Monaco and Andorra couldn’t make the final again…. A shame.

So along came the final and a very different audience. In front of us was a Ukrainian gentleman of advancing years who recognised (much to my delight) my Welsh flag… an educated man for sure! Behind us was someone who we decided was an Oligarch with a gaggle of beauties which didn’t quite seem right. They didn’t hang around for the voting, so they must have had somewhere more important to be. All told, this was an enjoyable final that I thought would be won by Malta , Romania or Latvia . I had not rated Greece at all and it is only in more recent years where I can see that the performance really did stand out. After all the years of wanting to see Greece at the top, I hadn’t seen the reality of it coming, lol. Wow, Athens in 2006? As if to emphasise the point, we stumbled across a concert on the Sunday which Helena Paparizou took part in and then again on the Monday we bumped into her at the Airport. Great that Eurovision was staying south again! More Ukrainian beer, a more straight forward return journey and Eurovision was tucked away again until it was time for sunny Greece . Ellada, horo tou fotos…!  


2005 - The lovely Jude and Mandy, David Elder, John O'Connor, Helena Paparizou and views of Kyiv


2006 - Olympic Venue for Eurovision

Athens it was and after viewing the fantastic Olympics there in 2004, 

it was great to hear that they had selected one of their Olympic venues for Eurovision 2006. It was also a nice thought that the sun would be joining us and a good deal of time was spent in the bars and tavernas and restaurants of Athens – well it was outside most of the time. A great venue, with a view of the Acropolis had been arranged for the fans and fantastic transport links took us from the city to the Olympic park for the Semi Final, our Friday rehearsal and the Final itself. At the Semi Final we saw the first huge non-qualifier surprise in the guise of Belgium ’s Kate Ryan. A huge fan favourite before the Contest and seen as a potential winner of the whole thing. Everyone was amazed that it did not make the final and it remains a big favourite for the fans, including me. There was a feeling that the Semi Final was not enough on its own and that a wider selection process was needed. The Semi Final was also becoming a huge show of its own, which was great, but with only 10 spots available for the final, it was becoming very difficult for some countries to even get close to qualifying.


At the final, Romania and Sweden were my big favourites to win, but Europe was in for a monstrous surprise….. We’d enjoyed the show, but the Greeks had not allowed for anyone other than those sitting directly in front of the main screens, to be able to see the actual voting! As a result we joined many others in the corner ramparts of the venue so that we could see the voting screens.   




As it became clear that Finland was going to win, we all lamented the number of times that we’d wanted them to do well and hadn’t. Yet here, today, we were seeing the most Un-Eurovision winner of the Contest ever, walk away with it. Perhaps this would be a new chapter for the Contest, perhaps it was Rock’s turn to have a few years in the limelight. As usual though, you cannot change the result, however much you might like to and we left the arena a little flat and more than a little surprised that we would be experiencing Eurovision in Finland after all! I do wonder what Katri Helena, Ami Aspelund, Monica Aspelund, Fredi and CatCat really made of Lordi and their unorthodox Eurovision style…. Had Eurovision been hijacked by the rock fraternity? Haha… one thing was sure, there was very little point in trying to predict the winner now, but we would all still try to!  

After a fleeting visit in 2002, I wasn’t expecting too much from Helsinki 2007, but I was very pleasantly surprised but a vibrant fun sunny city in the north! Trams took us around the city and the ‘Eurovision Express’ train took us from the central station to the Arena. We had a couple of 2006 flashbacks in Helsinki; the first being a surprising encounter with Dima Bilan, who was being interviewed in the street and a very enjoyable club audience with Mihai Traistariu from Romania. Both artists were in Finland to support their 2007 representatives and let’s face it, any publicity is good publicity. Tornero!  


No huge surprises at the Semi Final, but most people seemed to think that Andorra would make the final for the first time with their McFly style entry ‘Salvem el mon’. Sadly that was not to be, but they only missed out by 11 points coming 12th in the Semi Final. Evridiki was back for Cyprus , but amazingly also did not make the final. Could we be in for another surprise this year? Well, I certainly was! Belarus was my Number 1 this year, but I also especially liked Spain , Greece , Turkey and Russia . We arrived at the final to find some people in our seats, which just happened to be outside Mr Wogan’s commentary box! The seat-stealers were Hanna Pakarinen fans with huge placards and facemasks. It took some official convincing for them to move into their correct seats, right in front of ours. We had to ask them to keep the placards down for some of the time, as we couldn’t see a damn thing! We also had to look at the Hanna masks which they wore on the back of their heads for the whole show. We enjoyed the show regardless and I was convinced that Ukraine or Belarus would win.  As it turned out, the song that I placed 39th out of 42 won the Contest. I was more than a little shocked and hadn’t seen it coming at all. Maybe I’d lost my predictive powers, or lucky guessing ability? Ah well, it was only Eurovision…. The winner was though, a song I just couldn’t listen to ….until a 3 minute dance mix became available – and that I do really like! ‘Molitva’ seemed to be a popular winner though, but I’d wanted to see some smiling Eurovision faces from Serbia and had been disappointed by yet another similarly-style ballad, which I found rather dreary. The very undreary Verka Seduchka finished 2nd though and Ukraine was certainly proving to be a power to be reckoned with, in Eurovision terms. The results accepted, we headed home again.  


2007 - Flying The Flags


2008 - Belgrade


I took a little more convincing than usual to go to Serbia , for all sorts of reasons, but I found myself on a flight from London City Airport with David and Andrew in May 2008 heading to Belgrade via Zürich. For the first time since 1996, I had also managed to acquire Accreditation for the event, so some back-stage style access was likely this year, although I was not sure what I’d do with it.


My little website, which you are visiting now, had been running since 2001, providing a web resource for the OGAE Contests, especially SECOND CHANCE. I had started to develop a Eurovision angle to the site though, including national final results, polls, pictures, videos and results. This gained me PF accreditation for Belgrade and I was ready to see what that meant in this new age of Semi Finals and hi-tech press centres. This was a far cry from the tents and flint walled spaces of 1993.  

We had booked a lovely little hotel in Zemun just outside the main city and cheap cab rides took us in to Belgrade for sightseeing and Eurovision. We also met some delightful Russian girls at our Hotel who were in Belgrade to visit friends and as Dima Bilan fans… As it turned out, we’d be seeing them again in 2009, but we didn’t know that then!  


2008 was the first year that Eurovision would have 2 Semi Finals before the Grand Final. Eurovision was now 3 nights – fantastic! With the obligatory Friday rehearsal, that meant at least 4 nights of our stay would be at the Venue. Having said that, a package of tickets had to be bought which included every rehearsal of every show. I received a huge amount of tickets before we left for Serbia , but it would be almost impossible to use them all. Once there, cabs were the easiest way to get around town as venues were quite spread around the centre. There was on occasion that we had to leave a broken down cab that we were in and walk though!  


We decided to visit the ‘House of Flowers’ – the mausoleum of the former Yugoslavia ’s leader Josip Broz Tito. This was a man who was synonymous with Yugoslavia when I was growing up and a visit to the place of his memory seemed appropriate. We were quite surprised how run down the place looked and it felt a little forgotten, but time had moved on and Yugoslavia no longer existed. In Eurovision terms, that still felt strange, but we had become used now to the newly independent nations that brought new and fresh ideas to Eurovision with their own identities.


2008 - Belgrade


Another encounter with a former Eurovision performer was on the cards in Belgrade , a Brazilian moment. The unforgettable Baby Doll had matured into a classier act and gave us renditions of her songs old and new. This included a strange performance of Donny Osmond’s ‘Puppy Love’, which sadly sounded more like ‘Poopy Love’ which gave us a smile or two and something to remember! We did also make it to a rooftop Scandinavian promotion where all of the Scandi-artists from Norway , Sweden , Denmark and Iceland appeared for photos and promotion. Perfect!  


OK, at both Semi Finals, the supposed random announcements of the qualifiers felt a little strange as the final envelope at both Semi Finals contained huge fan favourite songs from Norway and Portugal (and my top 2!). It made it exciting, if more than a little tense. The big surprise came from Semi Final 2 though when both Switzerland (my 3rd favourite!) failed to make the final. Could we be in for another big surprise? Ukraine had sent another strong entry too, with Ani Lorak’s ‘Shady Lady’ having a great chance to win it again for them. But all of these and more were blown away by Russia ! Dima Bilan’s second attempt at Eurovision brought Russia a first victory. Having laughed in 1994 at whether we would ever get to Russia for Eurovision, now it looked like we would.  


So, we were now in the realms of 2 Eurovision Semi Finals, which meant up to a week in the Contest City . The total die-hard fans who could afford the time and expense now spent 2 weeks on the Contest. This would never be feasible for me and remembering how frantic some of the 90s Eurovision weeks had been, I wasn’t sure I could keep that up for 2 weeks anyway! I’m a die-hard fan myself, but my perspective was a little different now… everything in moderation… well, maybe. 2009 came along and rumours were rife, would it be Moscow or St Petersburg


Moscow was selected and I could not have been more excited. Eurovision has taken me to some amazing places, many of which I would not otherwise have been to… Tallinn , Kyiv, Istanbul , Riga , Millstreet (haha)…. But this year I would get to go to one City that had long been on my wish-list. Growing up in the UK in the 70s and 80s, Moscow was a place to be revered and mistrusted, but in this modern and more open World, new generations were making huge differences to those attitudes. I was really looking forward to this trip. We’d booked in the Cosmos, a huge 1980 Olympics Hotel, which may not have been updated much since. I flew to Moscow via Vienna , where I met Douwe who had flown from Brussels . No Vienna airport dash this time, but an easy flight out east to Russia . Sadly, Russia hadn’t relaxed visa rules like the Ukrainians did, and a visit to the Russian Passport Agency in London a few weeks earlier had been my first taste of something that was to come at the hotel. From the moment we landed in Moscow , to the moment I sat on my hotel bed for the first time took us almost 4 hours. This was partly due to us not expecting the Moscow metro to be totally un-international (and realising that my knowledge of Russian only covered certain letters when written as capitals), but also to a mix-up at Reception and a very surly receptionist (I swear she had never smiled in her life) who did not have me registered. ‘No Room’ I was told and my passport was hurled back at me. It took almost an hour to get the situation resolved, but finally we were given a key (still no smile) and proceeded to Floor 21 … There was a dire need for Customer Service Training at the Cosmos Reception! Certain artists were staying at the Hotel too, like Adok Zoli from Hungary (who eat a lot of eggs for breakfast – and I mean A LOT) plus Susanne from Andorra , who we bumped into on the 21st floor….  


Despite this frustrating introduction to the City, Moscow will go down as the best Contest yet for this 11 year old lad from Cardiff . So far away from home, in a World that I could not have dreamt of back in 1974 – I was on a real high. I can remember standing in Red Square and saying to myself – is this really happening?! I was fascinated by the grandeur and history of Moscow and enjoyed the tourist access to the Kremlin like an eager schoolboy. What a privilege this was. Eurovision in Moscow . Amazing!  


Another privilege was the Press Accreditation access, allowing press centre access, artist interviews and press conferences. A special moment occurred at a Moscow Hotel where we met the incomparable Patricia Kaas, who was representing France this year. A City Tour by bus also showed us more of the delights of Moscow , old and new. I liked this place!  



At the Contest Semi Finals, it was only really Hungary that I felt should have made the final over some of those that did. No big surprises this year and the final should prove to be a great show. The Semi Final presenters had been a little annoying however, so we hoped the final presenters, including Eurovision 2000’s Alsou, would be better. The venue was amazing and the 18000 strong audience was very enthusiastic! We watched the Friday rehearsal towards the back of the Arena and I was convinced that it would be Norway or Sweden on the night. However, I couldn’t quite work out why Sweden ’s ‘La Voix’ was sounding so empty compared to the amazing full sound at the Swedish final… The day of the final came and I was given revised tickets for the Final for Douwe and myself. I was told they were better seats at the front of a block and to enjoy them. Huge huge thanks to my friend Vlad for them! I hadn’t worked out how the seating blocks were laid out, so imagine my surprise when we walked through the arena and showed the tickets to an usher. When she said to us ‘Go straight to stage’, I felt a little numb… Really? Yes, really – we were in the very front row for this Eurovision final. I looked behind at 18000 people behind us and I could have kissed Vlad, if he had been around! Wow!  


The show, at this angle, with no flags or people infront, was a very new and fantastically enjoyable experience. It almost felt like a private show haha. The show goes by so quickly when you are there, wherever you are sat and this was no exception. I wondered, with such prominent seats, whether we had been spotted on TV back home. Little did I know what was coming…  


For once, the BBC was sending a big name to Eurovision – Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber of musicals fame. Jade Ewen would sing his song ‘Its My Time’ and I felt we would get the best position we had for years, but could we win? Hmmmm…  


Jade came on stage and the song started. She got whacked by a violin bow as she walked down the ‘prop’ stairs and belted out the UK song, Yes we’d do OK with this I thought. At the end of the song I jumped up cheering with my UK flag, as you do (unless is Jemini). Out of the corner of my eye I could see a camera man with a shoulder-mounted TV camera. Before I knew it, he was right in front of us, or the camera was, so I kept cheering, smiling and moving the flag. It was all over so fast, I was a bit bemused. Then I felt my phone buzz in my pocket. I looked at my phone and something I’ve never seen before happened… dozens of text messages starting scrolling up the screen. It appeared that the shoulder camera moment had gone out to Europe . How funny. What I didn’t realise is that I’d find out that more people watched the Contest than I realised (I also came home to a screen capture image on my office door at work asking if I had been in Moscow at the weekend – now everyone knew where I’d been!).  




Well, the Contest was a runaway for Norway and what a popular win it was – and the highest scoring win ever! Rybak’s ‘Fairytale’ went huge in the hall and I will never forget that night for as long as I live. A one-off for sure and something I will always treasure. A great after-show party followed and we went out into the Moscow morning at around 6am to a waiting bus that took us back to our hotel. It was like a Fairytale! Thank you Moscow !  Thank you Noughties! A whole decade of not missing 1 Contest, wow!