Saturday, March 28, 2015
Runner-up: United Kingdom 1977
The final was supposed to be held on April 2 at Wembley, but at this time people going on strike were about as common as rain or fog or sunrises. The BBC technicians went on strike and only a matter of hours prior to the respective delegations travelling to London, the contest had to be put off.
A similar problem had occurred already at the national final, which in the end was never televised but only broadcast on radio. If the eternal striking had any influence on the result isn't clear (at least not to me) but the winning entry was a good-hearted, light-weight nod towards the state of British society. If it isn't working, then rub it out and start it again.
Or postpone it, at least. Europe had to wait five weeks until the contest was given its green light and went on air on May 7 instead. The delay probably meant that a few more modern entries had already peaked in the charts, and some juries may have grown tired of them before the final.
The UK delegation seemed to be forgiven for the long wait, and Europe generously voted the home team into second place and made the song a bigger hit on the continent than in the UK charts.
A deserved 2nd place?
Not really, no. I personally like it quite a lot and find it really pleasant, but it is more a fun performance than a really solid song. There were other songs that would have deserved these points better - Germany, Greece, Italy - but Lynsey de Paul's smile and the sight of Ronnie Hazlehurst conducting the orchestra with an umbrella puts me in a very forgiving mood.
Lynsey de Paul & Mike Moran - Rock Bottom (United Kingdom 1977)