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The United Kingdom‘s entry into the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest was « Love Shine a Light » by Katrina & the Waves. During this year the UK won the song contest which was being held in Dublin, Ireland, with an unprecedented 227 points. The UK sang at position 24. The lead singer was Katrina Leskanich. The 1997 contest is the most recent win for the United Kingdom.
- 1st – Love Shine a Light by Katrina & the Waves (69,830 votes)
(written by Kimberley Rue)
- 2nd – Yodel in the Canyon of Love by Do Re Mi & Kerry (58,696 votes)
(written by Kenny and Gordon MacDonald)
- 3rd – You Stayed Away Too Long by Joanne May (51,584 votes)
- 4th – For the Life You Don’t Yet Know by Sam Blue (votes not announced)
On 7 February, a semifinal was held on BBC Radio 2 at 09:30am, presented by Ken Bruce. This featured eight songs. Radio 2 listeners voted at 10:00am and voting closed at 11:15am and the top 4 went forward to the televised final. In addition to the four listed above, the following were included, although these were eliminated:
- Can’t You See I’m Crying – Paul Varney
- Heart of Stone – Dave Black
(written by Nicola Philo)
- Lighten Up – B-Yond
- Room for Change – Laura Pallas
Each of the 4 finalists were featured each week on the National Lottery show:
16/2/97 – « Love Shine a Light »
23/2/97 – « Yodel in the Canyon of love »
1/3/97 – « You stayed away too long »
8/3/97 – « The life you don’t yet know »
The Great British Song Contest was held on Mother’s Day, Sunday 9 March 1997 and televised on BBC 1 at 15:30pm. Gina G was special guest at the show. The final was hosted by Dale Winton. There was no simultaneous broadcast with Radio 2.
Katrina and the Waves was by far, the best known of the 4 finalists. Their « Walking on Sunshine » was a big hit in the UK and most of Europe.
Joanne May was only 18 years old for her performance. Her composer, Don Black was the most famous name among the composers this year and had previously submitted songs into the UK final, « Come September » for Lulu in 1969 and « Happy Everything » for Maggie Moone being his most memorable.
B-Yond had appeared on the children’s TV show Blue Peter on Thursday 7 February but none of the other 7 entries did so. The « teen idol » pop group consisted of Jaden Cornelious, Nataylia Roni, Steve Whyte and Elaine Morris. Their follow-up single was a re-working of « Born Free » (made famous by fellow UK finalist Matt Monro) which was a charity single to raise money for the Quality of Life Animal Sanctuary in Devon.
Sam Blue had already been at the Eurovision Song Contest 1990 as a backing singer for Emma with « Give a little love back to the world » and had previously been at the UK final of 1996 in the duo Esseness singing « I Never Knew » and has worked with Dennis Waterman on the theme tune for the BBC1 show « New Tricks ». Sam has his own band in America called California Screaming.
The UK was awarded 12 points (the highest possible) a total of 10 times.
Points Awarded to the United Kingdom
|12 points||10 points||8 points||7 points||6 points|
|5 points||4 points||3 points||2 points||1 point|
Points Awarded by the United Kingdom
(Note: Entries scored out are when United Kingdom did not compete)
(Note: All information are in order of appearance