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The Welsh at Eurovision

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James McLaren James McLaren | 08:00 UK time, Friday, 25 May 2012

Did you know the most successful Eurovision single ever was, in part, Welsh? Or that the highest-placed Eurovision song since 1998 was wholly Welsh? No? Then read on as we plot the course of Welsh involvement in the biggest gathering of international singing talent on the planet! (And Jemini.)

Things kicked off in 1970 with Mary Hopkin's Knock Knock Who's There? She finished second, to Ireland's Dana with All Kinds Of Everything.

Pontardawe's Hopkin told the Western Mail in 2009: "I was so embarrassed about it. Standing on a stage singing a song you hate is awful. Unless you're expressing what's inside there's just no point."

Others haven't been so down about their moment in the sun. Carmarthen's Nicky Stevens of 1976's chart behemoths Brotherhood Of Man told us: "I remember sitting at home in Carmarthen watching the New Seekers on the contest and thinking wouldn't it be marvellous to win something like that. Little did I realise what was to come. I never dreamed in a million years that one day I would be a winner."

The song, Save Your Kisses For Me, went on to win, becoming the biggest-selling Eurovision song of all time, topping the charts in 33 countries.

Watch Brotherhood Of Man perform Save Your Kisses For Me:

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The UK has suffered a drop in average scores since the 1990s, some think because of political protest at the country's involvement in international conflict, some think because the songs we've put forward haven't been any good. Luckily, there was a ray of light in 2002 with Swansea's Jessica Garlick.

Here she is, talking about performing at Eurovision and the inspiration she had from previous entrants:

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Watch Jessica performing Come Back at Eurovision 2002, in which she finished third:

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Two years later, James Fox of Bargoed attempted to do something that no male soloist had ever done for the UK: win Eurovision. Despite the Fame Academy graduate winning the selection show by a country mile, he came 16th in Eurovision, He did, however, improve on the previous year's 'nul points' from Jemini.

Sometimes Welsh artists don't even compete for the UK. Newport's Jon Lilygreen stepped up for Cyprus in 2010 in mysterious circumstances:

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Watch Jon Lilygreen And The Islanders performing for Cyprus in the 2010 Eurovision finals, with Life Looks Better In Spring:

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This year we could have had another Welsh entrant as Tom Morgan went for the competition to represent Finland. Unfortunately, as he told us: "I didn't make it any further than the final 40! I got myself 826 "likes" but that wasn't enough to get me far up the chart. I think I ended up in 37th place, although I'm not 100% sure about that. At least I know I didn't come last!

"I'll admit that my song wasn't particularly great (I wrote and recorded it in a massive hurry), but I still think it was one of the better songs of the 40... maybe the Finns just didn't appreciate having a foreigner 'in the running' to represent them in Baku."

So this year we'll have no domestic talent to cheer for, but never fear. We can always pretend that Jemini were Welsh and watch this on repeat:

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