Eurovision Song Contest 2005
From Kiev on Saturday 21 May
Eurovision Trivia: Did you know...
... that Eurovision is the name given to a network of communication channels - founded in the Fifties - that links public TV stations across Europe? The system minimises the cost to each member of transmitting pan-European news and sports footage. In an effort to shore up programming to justify the network, members thought up the Song Contest and the first was held in Switzerland in 1956.
... that the total number of entries in the first contest was 14?
... that young song writing team, Elton John and Bernie Taupin, wrote one of the songs for Britain's national Eurovision Contest in 1969? It lost to Lulu's Boom Bang a Bang - which went on to win at the finals.
... 1968, when the event was held at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, was the first year The Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast in colour?
... 1970 was the year that saw filmed 'postcards' for the first time, introducing each song for the TV audience?
... that Finland has participated the most times in the Eurovision finals without winning? It has taken part 37 times: its best showing was in 1973, when Marion Rung came sixth with Tom Tom Tom.
... that the current scoring system was not introduced until 1975 following a series of experiments with voting procedure?
... that in the 1978 competition, Norway became the first country to receive 'nul points' for their entry, Mil Etter Mil (Mile after Mile)?
... that following Bucks Fizz's win in 1981, the chosen venue for the 1982 contest was the small town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire?
... that the youngest ever winner of the Eurovision Song Contest was 13-year-old Sandra Kin from Belgium in 1986?
... that rules limit the number of performers on stage to six?
... that when Israel won in 1979 and 1980, the country was set to become the first nation ever to host consecutive competitions? They later admitted that there wasn't the funding to stage back-to-back productions. The Dutch offered to stage the contest at The Hague, but only if they were permitted to scale back the production. A date was set for 19 April. However nobody realised this was a national holy day in Israel, and consequently the champion could not compete. Israel became the only country in the history of the contest not to participate the year after winning Eurovision.
... that the 1983 UK trio Sweet Dreams featured Carrie Grant, now famous in her own right as one of the resident vocal coaches on Pop Idol and Fame Academy?
... that Johnny Logan's 1987 win secured his place in the Eurovision hall of fame as the only singer in the contest's history to win twice? On the same night German act Wind became the only act to finish second on two occasions.
... that 1992 was the last year Yugoslavia was in the final, as the member states and provinces broke away from Belgrade and became independent nations?
... that 1995 was the fourth consecutive year the contest was staged in Ireland to the country's great financial cost? As a result, they asked the EBU to amend the rulebook so they would not be expected to host the contest the following year should they win.
... that the mini dress of chain linked gold discs worn by Gina G in the 1996 contest had originally been designed for Cher by American designer Paco Rabanne? After Gina managed to acquire it, she cut the full length gown down to its now infamous thigh skimming size.
... that when Katrina and the Waves won in 1997, the group was awarded the most number of top marks ever awarded to one song in the contest's history?
... in 2003, Jemini became the first UK act to receive the dreaded 'nul points'? With 26 countries competing (the highest number at this point), this also made the hapless duo the least successful entry in the history of the contest.
... that the Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most-watched single events in the world? For the 2001 contest, 95 percent of the Danish viewing public tuned in - the highest percentage in Europe.