Eurovision Song Contest's Greatest Hits
Eurovision Song Contest's Greatest Hits (also known as Eurovision's Greatest Hits) was a live television concert programme organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to commemorate the Eurovision Song Contest's 60th anniversary. The concert took place on 31 March 2015 at the Eventim Apollo, in Hammersmith, London. Guy Freeman was the executive producer and Geoff Posner the director, both of whom held the same positions as the last time the BBC hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998. Simon Proctor was the senior producer and David Arch was the musical director for the concert. Tickets for the event went on sale at 10 am on 6 February 2015.
|Eurovision Song Contest's Greatest Hits|
|Final||31 March 2015|
|Venue||Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom|
|Executive supervisor||Jon Ola Sand|
|Executive producer||Guy Freeman|
|Host broadcaster||EBU, BBC|
|Reprise act||All of the acts (except Loreen) performed a medley of Eurovision hits, including "Hallelujah", "Nel blu dipinto di blu", "Making Your Mind Up", and "Waterloo".|
|Number of entries||15|
Graham Norton and Petra Mede hosted the event, which saw fifteen acts from thirteen countries performing their Eurovision entries from yesteryear. During the televised show, video montages for some of the Eurovision Song Contest archives were shown in-between each live performance. The United Kingdom entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 was performed at the concert, but never broadcast on the televised show. Riverdance performed a reprise of their 1994 Eurovision Song Contest interval act as part of the anniversary celebrations.
Several countries confirmed that they would air the delayed broadcast of the concert on various dates that suited the broadcasters scheduling, including Australia, who first competed in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 as a wildcard entry. The host broadcaster, BBC, and Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ), simulcast the show on Good Friday, 3 April 2015 across BBC One and RTÉ 2. The Dutch broadcaster, AVROTROS, were the first to announce their decision to not broadcast the event. Other countries also announced their decision to decline broadcasting the event, including Luxembourg, who had an act taking part in the event.
Confirmation was revealed on 3 February 2015 that the concert event was to take place in the Eventim Apollo, in Hammersmith, London. The last time the United Kingdom capital held any Eurovision events was the Eurovision Dance Contest 2007.
It was announced on 22 October 2014, that the EBU had appointed the United Kingdom's broadcaster, BBC, to co-produce a special anniversary show to celebrate sixty-years of the Eurovision Song Contest, similar to the show Congratulations: 50 Years of the Eurovision Song Contest which took place in 2005. The details regarding the title of the show were unknown at the time the announcement was made.
The EBU later issued the following statement regarding the 60th anniversary: "There are various exciting proposals from member broadcasters on the table to celebrate the 60th anniversary beyond the contest in May, which are currently in the final stages of being evaluated. A decision is expected shortly, so stay tuned!". Edgar Böhm, executive producer of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest said in an interview that the BBC had been chosen to host a special anniversary show. Guy Freeman was appointed as executive producer for the event, assisted by Senior Producer Simon Proctor, the script was co-written by Edward af Sillén, Daniel Réhn and Christine Rose whilst the director was Geoff Posner.
Tickets for the anniversary concert went on sale from 10:15am (GMT) on Friday 6 February 2015 via the BBC's Eurovision website and the official Eurovision Song Contest's website.
On 3 February 2015 it was announced that Graham Norton and Petra Mede would co-host the concert show. Norton, who co-hosted the Eurovision Dance Contest with Claudia Winkleman in 2007 and 2008, is also the current Eurovision TV commentator for the United Kingdom. Mede was the host for Melodifestivalen 2009 (Swedish national selection show), host for the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 and co-host of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest held in Stockholm.
The concert was recorded live on 31 March 2015 at the Eventim Apollo, London; allowing participating broadcasters the freedom to air the programme on a date and channel that was convenient for their broadcasting schedules. Fifteen artists, representing thirteen countries, consisting of some of Eurovision's Greatest Hits, took part in the sixtieth anniversary gala event. The first-ever winner of the contest (in 1956), Lys Assia, appeared in the audience as a guest of honour. During the broadcast, video montages were shown prior to each entry, showing footage for that particular year's contest, ending with Eurovision Song Contest footage for the entry that was about to perform on stage. Recap montages of Eurovision entries over the last sixty years, were also broadcast in-between performances. These were as follows:
- Teach-In – "Ding-a-dong": Netherlands, 1975
- Olivia Newton-John – "Long Live Love": United Kingdom, 1974
- Céline Dion – "Ne partez pas sans moi": Switzerland, 1988
- Jedward – "Lipstick": Ireland, 2011
- ABBA – "Waterloo": Sweden, 1974
- Serebro – "Song#1": Russia, 2007
- Izhar Cohen & the Alphabeta – "A-Ba-Ni-Bi": Israel, 1978
- Kathy Kirby – "I Belong": United Kingdom, 1965
- Bucks Fizz – "Making Your Mind Up": United Kingdom, 1981
- Sonia – "Better the Devil You Know": United Kingdom, 1993
- Imaani – "Where Are You?": United Kingdom, 1998
- Lynsey de Paul & Mike Moran – "Rock Bottom": United Kingdom, 1977
- Michael Ball – "One Step Out of Time": United Kingdom, 1992
- Cliff Richard – "Congratulations": United Kingdom, 1968
- Sandie Shaw – "Puppet on a String": United Kingdom, 1967
- Dana – "All Kinds of Everything": Ireland, 1970
Electro Velvet performed their United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 entry, "Still in Love with You". This performance did not appear on the televised show, but was exclusively done for the audience members of the concert hall itself and was later uploaded via the BBC's social media pages.
It was confirmed on 22 March 2015 that the interval act for Eurovision Song Contest's Greatest Hits would be Riverdance. The theatrical show consisting mainly of traditional Irish music and dance, and featured Irish dancing champions Jean Butler and Michael Flatley, with a score composed by Limerick native Bill Whelan, originated as an interval performance during the Eurovision Song Contest 1994.
Fifteen Eurovision acts from thirteen countries participated in the anniversary concert. Although there were originally fourteen acts confirmed by the BBC, it was later announced on 5 March 2015 that Norway's Bobbysocks would join the line-up increasing the total to fifteen. Video montages were shown prior to each entry, showing footage for that particular year's contest, ending with Eurovision Song Contest footage for the entry that was about to perform on stage.
- 1.^ Entries performed as a medley.
- 2.^ Winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1968, originally performed by Massiel.
- 3.^ One of the winning songs of the Eurovision Song Contest 1969 (along with France, Netherlands, and United Kingdom), and originally performed by Salomé.
- 4.^ Originally performed by Mocedades, finishing in 2nd place at the Eurovision Song Contest 1973.
- 5.^ Johnny Logan wrote the song "Why Me?", which won the Eurovision Song Contest 1992, originally performed by Linda Martin.
A medley of some of the Eurovision Song Contest's greatest hits were performed in English by all of the participating artists, as a reprise act at the close of the show, including: Anne-Marie David singing Israel's winning entry of the Eurovision Song Contest 1979, "Hallelujah". Swedish trio, Herreys, sang "Nel blu dipinto di blu", which finished in third place at the 1958 for Italy's Domenico Modugno. Bucks Fizz's "Making Your Mind Up", the winning entry for United Kingdom in 1981, was performed by Bobbysocks. The reprise concluded with Concita Wurst and Dana International leading all of the remaining performers (except Loreen) back on stage to sing ABBA's Eurovision Song Contest 1974 winning entry, "Waterloo".
As the anniversary concert show was not broadcast live, the participating national broadcasters were able to broadcast the show on a date and channel that was convenient for their broadcasting schedules. Some broadcasters – such as Austria and Sweden – recorded additional links and interviews in London for their viewers and these were used as previews for the main show.
The following countries, listed in order of broadcasting dates, had confirmed that they would broadcast the anniversary show.
The following list of countries declined to broadcast the show:
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When will the show be broadcast in the UK / my country?
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- Granger, Anthony (23 October 2014). "The Netherlands: Will Not Broadcast 60th Anniversary Show". Eurovoix. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
- Granger, Anthony (4 February 2015). "Ukraine: NTU will not broadcast "Eurovision's Greatest Hits"". Eurovoix. Retrieved 4 February 2015.