The Eurovision Song Contest has been a screen favourite since 1956. During its long history it has delivered around 1,500 songs of varying quality and as many as 50 countries have taken part. Since the Eurovision Song Contest is such a beloved institution, we are celebrating with some fast and fun facts and figures.
1) In the beginning, there were just seven countries in the Contest. The first contest, in 1956, was the only contest where each country had two songs each.
2) A then-record 25 countries took part in Eurovision in 1993 and 1994, after the fall of the Soviet Union and as borders opened up.
3) It was in 1996 when an extra heat was introduced, the qualifying heat, which reduced the number of participants in the Contest. Following a growing interest in Eurovision, a semi-final and then a second semi-final were introduced in 2008. For this reason, there were more countries than ever taking part in 2008 – a total of 43.
4) The 1,000th entry into the Eurovision Song Contest was Ireland’s entry which was called Every Song is a Cry for Love and appeared in 2006.
5) If you listened to all of the songs every performed at the Eurovision Song Contest you would be stuck with your headphones on for almost 72 hours.
6) The biggest-ever audience for the Contest was in 2001, when around 38,000 people were at the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen to witness the victory for Estonia.
7) The country that has won the most times at the contest is Ireland, who has scored seven winners. Just behind, Sweden has six wins. The United Kingdom, you may be surprised to learn, has actually won five times, along with five times for Luxembourg and France.
8) Poland has been the most successful debut country as their entry came second in 1994.
9) Norway has had mixed results in the Eurovision Song Contest. The country came last 11 times, but they have also won three times.
10) In 1969 there were actually four winners of the Contest, due to the way the voting took place. This means that even though there were 62 Eurovision Song Contests, there were actually 65 winners. There were no rules to act on in the event of a tie, and consequently four countries with the crown instead of the usual one. Remember that fact for your next Eurovision Game!
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