The best Eurovision performances: from Abba to Celine Dion to a heavy-metal band dressed as Orcs

As the BBC celebrates 60 years of Eurovision, we look back at the songs that captured Europe's imagination...

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To mark 60 years of the Eurovision Song Contest, the BBC is holding an anniversary event, which will relive iconic moments as well as welcome special guests to the stage. The line-up includes last year’s champion Conchita Wurst, Sweden’s 1994 champs Herreys, and Natasha St-Pier who represented France in 2001.

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Graham Norton and Swedish host Petra Mede will compere at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on 31st March.

Ahead of the event, we take a trip down memory lane and enjoy these memorable Eurovision moments:

2006: Lordi from Finland performing Hard Rock Hallelujah 

A heavy metal band dressed in what appear to be costumes based on the Orcs from Lord of the Rings. What’s not to love?


1987: Johnny Logan from Ireland with Hold Me Now

Well, it wouldn’t be right to have a list without ‘Mr Eurovision’ would it? Johnny Logan first scooped victory in 1980 with song What’s Another Year, again with the below 1987 track Hold Me Now and again for composing Linda Martin’s 1992 winning entry Why Me?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSXx7-EceBA


1988: Céline Dion representing Switzerland with Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi (Don’t Go Without Me)

Canadian born Céline Dion represented Switzerland in 1988, singing in her native language French. She topped the board just one point ahead of the UK, and of course has since gone on to have a sensational international career including a residence in Las Vegas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLPlhvgE9qA


2000: The Olsen Brothers from Denmark singing Fly on the Wings of Love

The Olsen Brothers had a surprise win in 2000, decked out in two bland black suits with a simple set and a couple of guitars to their name. But the crowd loved them and it was a win for Denmark.


1995: Secret Garden from Norway performing Nocturne

Taking Eurovision in a new direction, Norway’s Secret Garden bagged victory with a song that only has 24 words in the whole thing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol5YMjU37QI


1976: Brotherhood of Man from the UK singing Save Your Kisses For Me

Well, we had to mention a Brit, didn’t we? Brotherhood of Man’s Save Your Kisses For Me became one of the highest-selling Eurovision singles ever and gave the UK its third win. You can’t beat a catchy track, can you?

1974: Abba from Sweden singing Waterloo

It would be remiss not to include Abba, who took the title in 1974 with Waterloo. The rest, as they say, is history as the band has gone on to be one of the biggest success stories ever to come out of the show.


1958: Domenico Modungo singing Voltare! for Italy

A technical mishap meant Domenico ended up having to sing his song twice during the 1958 edition. He came out in third place, but his song Voltare! has had hundreds of covers, including ones by Dean Martin and Céline Dion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70PYINHfVjI

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The concert will take place at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on Tuesday 31st March, and will be broadcast on BBC1 at a later date.