Eurovision 1972: Edinburgh takes Monte Carlo's place as host city, The New Seekers can't teach Europe to vote for them and a Greek lady wins for Luxembourg
Spain and Germany, the silver and bronze medallists in Dublin, weren't interested in stepping in, either. Therefore, the baton was passed to fourth-placers, the UK, making this the fourth time the BBC would host.
Possibly in deference to Lulu bringing Britain a tied win in 1969, it was decided the Contest should be held in Scotland. In a move which surely miffed Lulu's home city of Glasgow, it was decided to stage the event in the more genteel surrounds of Scottish capital Edinburgh.
The 3,000(ish) capacity Usher Hall on the Lothian Road was chosen as the venue. Katie Boyle was the stock BBC Eurovision hostess at the time, but having a very English lady acting as announcer would doubtless rub the hometown audience up the wrong way, so actress, dancer and wife of Ludovic Kennedy, Moira Shearer was persuaded to do the job.
Moira (pictured), who died in 2006, gamely took the job on because her daughters wanted some teasing ammo for future use. Prior to her presenting job, Moira was known to ballet afficionados throughout the world for her leading role in Powell and Pressburger's 1948 classic film The Red Shoes, about a pair of enchanted/cursed scarlet ballet slippers which won't stop its wearer from dancing.
The same 18 countries which appeared in Dublin returned for Edinburgh - with the French and Greek reserves pulling a big win out of the bag with an even bigger ballad.
Winner 1972: Vicky Leandros performs Apres Toi for Luxembourg
Your 1972 McFacts:
(a) Eurovision 1972 was won by Luxembourg. Greek vocalist Vicky Leandros, which finished fourth behind Sandie Shaw five years earlier with L'amour Est Bleu/Love is Blue, returned for her adoptive singing-land with Apres Toi. One of the co-writers was Yves Dessca, who had helped pen Monaco's winner the year before, thus displaying a rather cavalier, albeit successful, approach to entering a Song Contest. It became a huge hit across the continent and even reached number two in the UK in its translated version, Come What May.
Vicky remains a huge star on mainland Europe, particularly in Germany. In 2006, she attempted to return to tghe Contest under the German flag, but her song didn't make it through the heats.
(b) Rumours persist that Cilla Black accepted the Eurovision job for the UK in 1972, but had to step down when she became pregnant. Waiting in the wings, however, was the first group to ever represent the UK, The New Seekers. Eurovision came along the year after they had topped the charts all over the world with the Coca Cola ad campaign song, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing and the tune which won A Song For Europe by a landslide (beating one by Wizzard's Roy Wood called Songs of Praise), was the eventual number two hit, Beg, Steal or Borrow.
The New Seekers perform Beg, Steal or Borrow for the UK. Guess what? They came second. That makes a change.
The New Seekers were installed as favourites before the show and it was certainly the most contemporary song Britain had ever submitted to Eurovision since Are You Sure, 11 years earlier. Stuck out in fifth slot in the draw, with Vicky on stage second-to-last - not to mention the Laura Ashley-style wardrobe which may have turned a few people off - The New Seekers were a distant second, with 114 points to Luxembourg's 128. They did get the biggest cheer from the (home) crowd, though. A harsh lesson that international fame does not translate to Eurovision victory.
Sandra and Andres sing for the Netherlands in various shades of green. Mmm...
(c) A country which saw a return to form in 1972 was the Netherlands. Their bouncy number, the last song of the night, got the crowd clapping along - even though the male half of the Dutch duo looked like he was wearing the only shade of green not represented on his colleague's dress. They were declared as fourth place finishers in the moments before the fashion police started hammering down the Usher Hall doors.
Austria's The Milestones get the closest to what the world what listening to in 1972.
(d) Boom Bang a Blog's favourite song from the 1972 line-up is this one from Austrian group The Milestones. Ideal for the folksy/Woodstock-y music that a lot of the world was listening to in 1972, the amount of time it took to set the group's kit up on stage did lead Eurovision's organisers to have a rethink on how bands could stage their entries. Great song - but you can't help thinking The Milestones spend their spare time drinking real ale and thinking it's really funny to say 'Hey nonny no.'
Sandie Jones with the only Irish entry ever performed in Gaelic
(e) Beg, Steal or Borrow was the only song sung in English in 1972, as Ireland sent its one and only entry in Gaelic. Ceol an GhrÃÂ¡ translates as The Music of Love and was a number one hit back home. The juries didn't have the same enthusiasm for it and it finished 15th out of the 18 songs on show.
Moira Shearer channels Miss Jean Brodie as she calls for the scores from juries locked in the great hall of Edinburgh Castle.
(f) Edinburgh Castle played a big part in this Eurovision too. A military tattoo was staged in the grounds to keep the viewers entertained while the judges sorted out their scores. And those juries were locked away in the castle's Grand Hall, with their scores relayed to a seated Moira - who looked ever so regal - on a huge screen at the Usher Hall.
It was a foregone conclusion from the start. Luxembourg had won for the third time and the Contest was heading back to the Grand Duchy.
The BBC therefore forced the juries to spend 72 hours locked in the Great Hall as punishment for The New Seekers not winning. Not really.