Contestant Sam Ryder poses on the “Turquoise Carpet” during the opening ceremony of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy, May 8, 2022. (Picture: REUTERS/Yara Nardi REFILE)
It’s that time again – the Eurovision Song Contest final 2022 is now upon us.
This year’s competition will see TikTok star Sam Ryder take up the mantle as the UK’s entry with his huge ballad Space Man, and, for once, it’s looking like we might have a shot at a decent finish.
However, he’ll face stiff competition with several other countries’ entries still having great odds. Ukraine’s entry Stefania by Kalush Orchestra is currently the bookies’ favourite, and the previous year’s champions, Italy, are entering Mamhood & Blanco’s song Brividi, which is also doing well.
However, perhaps the most significant obstacle Sam Ryder has to overcome is the UK’s dismal recent placing in the competition.
With the glimmer of hope now alive, many fans are looking back to find out just what the UK’s record in Eurovision really looks like.
When did the UK last win Eurovision?
The last time the UK won the Eurovision Song Contest was in 1997 when Katrina and The Waves (of ‘Walking on Sunshine’ fame) sang their way to success with Love Shine a Light, racking up an astonishing 227 points.
The contest took place in Dublin and saw Katrina fend off intense competition from Ireland’s Marc Roberts, Turkey’s Şebnem Paker and Italy’s entry by Jalisse.
Unfortunately, since then it’s been a much more mixed picture – and that’s being pretty generous.
The UK has placed stone last five times in the previous two decades, with 2021’s entry Embers by James Newman managing to score zero points.
It’s definitely possible to hear shades of Space Man in 1997’s Eurovision-winning performance – could the UK’s latest entry win by drawing inspiration from past success?
How many times has the UK won Eurovision?
The UK has won Eurovision five times in the competition’s history.
Sandi Shaw was the UK’s first winner in 1967 (held in Vienna, Austria) with the song Puppet on a String.
Two years later, this was followed by victory in Madrid, Spain, for Lulu’s song Boom Bang-a-Bang.
It was then something of a wait for a winner, despite plenty of second and third placings for artists like The New Seekers, Cliff Richard, and The Shadows. However, 1976 saw Brotherhood of Man triumph with Save Your Kisses for Me in the Netherlands.
1981 would see our last victory in the competition before Katrina and The Waves, with Bucks Fizz winning with Making Your Mind Up which was also held in Dublin.
The Eurovision 2022 final starts tonight BBC One from 8pm.
MORE : Eurovision 2022: Serbia’s entry actually kicks off with lyric about Meghan Markle’s ‘healthy’ hair
MORE : Eurovision 2022: Shock as Albania, Latvia and Austria fail to make first 10 acts in Grand Final
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