Where did the time go?

 Sechuk.com – 10 YEARS OLD – February 2011


Launched in Cardiff (Wales) in February 2001, Sechuk.com turns 10 years old in February 2011.


This UK-based site started as an information page for the OGAE Second Chance Contest, hence the name SECHUK (SEcond CHance UK), with the intention to keep it simple, concise and clear for a year or two. Well, it’s certainly lasted longer than expected and retains its simple format too!


The site has grown with the Second Chance Contest (alternative songs from Eurovision pre-selections) and now includes results, pictures, videos and songs from all editions 1987 to 2010.


The site is also home to the Second Chance Retro(spective) Contest, where songs from Eurovision finals preceding 1987 battle to be the best in Europe. We work backwards on this one and the 1978 Contest will be held during 2011.


Guest Jury Hits also joined the Retro experience, allowing non-ESC countries from those years to share national hits in a separate, but parallel Contest. Italy has certainly dominated GJH….


The OGAE Song Contest and OGAE Video Contest also feature on the site and it has been a pleasure to collaborate with friends from across the OGAE network in keeping the details and results up to date and relevant.


OGAE Italy’s ‘World Peace Song Festival’ also has a welcome home on Sechuk.com and the 2010 Contest is currently in full swing with entries from all over the World.


‘Song 4 Wales’ selects an entry from Wales for WPSF, although this has not been held every year.


Eurovision was a natural addition to the site, although never an early intention, as who can compete with esctoday.com or oikotimes.com... let alone Eurovision.tv…! Thanks to all our partner sites!


So without trying to compete, Eurovision was added - facts, figures, pictures, results, videos, site visitor voting and songs have been part of the Sechuk year since 2003. This includes possibly the only ‘all-ESC results’ table on the net plus some of my own Eurovision experiences 1986 to 2010….


Some one-off polls on the site have been illuminating too, like the ‘BIG ZERO’ vote in 2003 on zero-scoring ESC entries (referenced in the book 'Nul Points'), or the best of 50 years in 2005, or the ‘Best of the Noughties’ in 2009, or the ESC Semi Finalists in 2010. Not surprising that Italy won the ‘Bring Back’ vote in 2006 and how great to finally see Italy back for 2011.


Amazingly, the site received 6.8m hits from 192 countries in 2010. A list of these countries can be found on the front page – how high is your country in the visitor poll? We were amazed who was number 1.


Some of my best Eurovision experiences (which you may or may not find on the site) are….

* being on the UK jury for Bergen 1986

* the first taste of an ESC stage live in 1988

* me holding the trophy in 1992 with Linda Martin and Johnny Logan in a hotel room after the show

* Niamh Kavanagh and Patrick Fiori singing their songs on route from Millstreet to Killarney in 1993 to a busload of very pleased fans

* my amazing experience in the front row in Moscow with one of my oldest and closest ESC friends (Douwe)

* the 1989 midnight RIVA interview in Lausanne by just 4 UK fans (nobody else turned up)

* and not forgetting the crazy Vienna airport dash and the subsequent Lada ride from Kyiv airport to our apartment in 2005, with David and the Andrews Sisters.


Maybe I’ll add my ESC memories to the site in 2011! Or maybe I’ll just save you from all that…


Some of the events covered Some sample front pages










Thank you to everyone who has supported and visited the site in the last 10 years. I hope to keep it going for a few more years yet, if only to get Second Chance Retro to 1974…! How has it lasted so long?!  Gary Speirs (Brighton (originally Cardiff) UK)


Thank you very much!

Baie Dankie, Iyayraykere, Gui Lah Hui Te Ha, Faleminderit, Shukran Gazilan, Shad Shenorhagal Em, Sag Olun, Mila Esker, Dziákuj, Hvala Vam, Trugarez, Mnogo Blagodarya, Doh Je, Moltes Gràcies, Durdaladawhy, Grazia, Hvala, Dêkuji, Mange Tak, Dank U Wel, Thank You, Aitäh, Mamnoon Finn, Kiitos, Merci Beaucoup, Tanke Wol, Mahd-Lobt, Vielen Dank, Efharisto, Toda Raba, Köszönöm, Takk Fyrir, Go Raibh Maith Agaibh, Grazie, Arigato, Komapsumnida, Liels Paldies, Nuoširdziai Dekoju, Merci, Blagodaram, Grazzi Hafna, Tika Hoki, Multumesc, Merçì, Tusen Takk, Dziekuje, Obrigado, Multumesc, Grazcha, Spasibo, Giitus Eanat, Moran Taing, Hvala Lepa, Dakujem, Hvala Vam, Muchas Gracias, Tack Så Mycket, Tesekkür Ederim, Dyakooyu, Diolch Yn Fawr Iawn