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The Eurovision Song Contest 1963 was the eighth annual Eurovision Song Contest. The contest was held in London, United Kingdom, after the British broadcaster BBC stepped in to organise the event. France had won the 1962 edition with the right to host this following one but were unable to, due to financial shortcomings.

Eurovision Song Contest 1963
ESC 1963 logo.png
Final23 March 1963
VenueBBC Television Centre
London, United Kingdom
Presenter(s)Katie Boyle
ConductorEric Robinson
Directed byYvonne Littlewood[1]
Host broadcasterBritish Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
Interval actOla & Barbro
Number of entries16
Debuting countriesNone
Returning countriesNone
Withdrawing countriesNone
Voting systemTwenty-member juries awarded points to their five favourite songs.
Nul points
Winning song Denmark

The contest was won by Denmark with the song "Dansevise", performed by Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann. Denmark's win was their first. Four countries got nul points, with Finland, Norway and Sweden failing to score any points for the first time and The Netherlands for the second time, becoming the first country to go two years in a row without scoring a single point.[2]


BBC Television Centre, London - host venue of the 1963 contest.

The BBC was willing to host the contest instead of the previous year's winner France, as was the case in 1960. They would do so again in 1972 and 1974 because the winning broadcasters from the year before could not afford to produce the contest.

The host venue was the BBC Television Centre, White City, London, which opened in 1960. It is one of the most readily recognisable facilities of its type having appeared as the backdrop for many BBC programmes. It remained to be one of the largest such facilities in the world until it closed in March 2013.[3]


Two studios (TC3 and TC4) were used: one for the mistress of ceremonies Katie Boyle, the audience, and the scoreboard; the other for the performers and the orchestra accompanying them. Unusually, a boom microphone (normally used for drama and comedy shows) was employed - the viewer doesn't see this, so it appears as if the artists were miming to their vocals. This was not the case, but this innovation was to create a new look for the contest.[2]

Voting controversyEdit

One controversy this year was during the voting. When it was Norway's turn to announce their votes, the spokesman in Oslo, Roald Øyen, did not use the correct procedure in that the song number, followed by the name of the country, should have been announced before awarding the points. Katie Boyle asked Norway to repeat their results, but the Norwegian spokesman asked Katie to return to them after all the other results were in. When Katie went back to Norway again the votes had mysteriously altered, thus changing the outcome of the contest and giving the victory to Norway's neighbours Denmark at Switzerland's expense. In fact, the Norwegian spokesman had not given the correct votes on the first occasion.[2] Monaco was also asked to do their voting a second time as initially Monaco give one point to both the United Kingdom and Luxembourg. However, when Katie Boyle went back to Monaco to receive the votes again Monaco's one vote to Luxembourg was efficiently discarded (although this did not have any effect on the positions of the countries).[2] It has also been speculated as to whether the juries were indeed on the end of a telephone line or in the actual studio given how clearly their voices could be heard as opposed to sounding as though they were being redirected through a telephone line.

Participating countriesEdit

All countries which participated in the 1961 and 1962 contests, returned for a third consecutive year, with no new countries making a début, nor any returning or withdrawing nations this particular year.


The participating conductors were:[4]

Returning artistsEdit

This year saw the return of just one artist, with Ronnie Carroll representing the United Kingdom for the second consecutive year.[2]

Norwegian jury votesEdit

If Norway did not make a statement in terms of results, Norway would still have its mark on the vote. Switzerland and Denmark quickly took the lead in the competition, and when Norway voted as number five, problems arose. The Norwegian counter had not managed to figure out the votes of the jury members, and the Norwegian points were therefore not clear. In the confusion, Roald Øyen read a preliminary result and had to ask Katie Boyle to come back later in the vote.

At the end of the vote, Switzerland led two points behind Denmark. When the correct Norwegian points were read, however, Switzerland and Denmark switched places, so that Denmark won the competition two points ahead of Switzerland. The Norwegian jury was later accused of having helped a neighboring country to win, and Switzerland protested against the result. However, NRK rejected the accusations and emphasized that the Norwegian jury had given the right points.

The reason for the chaos was that the Norwegian counter was simply not finished counting the voices when Norway was called up. Not only were the voices wrong, but a stressed eye also read the points incorrectly. When Norway was called back at the end of the vote, the results from the Norwegian jury were clear and correct. "We have good conscience regarding the outcome. The 20 jury members' ballot papers are on the television for control if necessary ”, NRK's Odd Grythe assured.

One of the Norwegian jury members from 1963, Olaf Kjell Wathne Gar, was interviewed by NRK P2 in 2017, and he told about chaotic conditions at NRK Marienlyst during the vote. Gar was a student in 1963, and according to him, Gar and some fellow students were hacked in by NRK in a hurry the same day as the final. They were picked up in taxis and driven to NRK Marienlyst. There they heard the songs twice through loudspeakers in a tiny room. However, the students had decided in advance to vote for Denmark and a few other countries, because they "had the most sympathy for Denmark"

The 20 jury members then voted, and program secretary Einar Johannessen summed up the voices on a chalkboard when London suddenly called. "We were barely half-finished, and at full speed he improvised and scribbled some numbers," Gar said, adding: "It was all so simple and primitive that one would hardly have believed it today". The jury members received NOK 150 each in order to "throw away the Saturday night", which NRK, according to Gar, had called the assignment.



Each country had 20 jury members who awarded their five favourite songs 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 points in order. All those points would then be added up and the five song with the most points got 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 votes in order.

Voting results
Total score
United Kingdom
United Kingdom 28 3 5 3 3 3 3 5 2 1
Netherlands 0
Germany 5 2 3
Austria 16 4 4 1 2 3 2
Norway 0
Italy 37 2 1 3 2 5 4 5 3 3 5 4
Finland 0
Denmark 42 3 5 2 3 4 2 5 3 5 5 5
Yugoslavia 3 1 2
Switzerland 40 5 4 5 1 5 4 4 1 4 4 3
France 25 4 1 2 4 5 4 1 1 2 1
Spain 2 2
Sweden 0
Belgium 4 4
Monaco 25 1 2 5 1 3 1 1 5 4 2
Luxembourg 13 3 1 1 2 2 4
The table is ordered by appearance

5 pointsEdit

Below is a summary of all 5 points in the final:

N. Recipient nation Voting nation
5 Denmark Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Sweden
3 Italy Denmark, Monaco, Switzerland
Switzerland Austria, Italy, United Kingdom
2 United Kingdom Norway, Spain
Monaco France, Germany
1 France Yugoslavia

International broadcasts and votingEdit

The table below shows the order in which votes were cast during the 1963 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country. Each national broadcaster also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language. Details of the commentators and the broadcasting station for which they represented are also included in the table below.

Voting and spokespersonsEdit

  1.   United Kingdom - Pete Murray
  2.   Netherlands - Pim Jacobs[6]
  3.   Germany - Werner Veigel
  4.   Austria - Emil Kollpacher
  5.   Norway - Roald Øyen[7]
  6.   Italy - Enzo Tortora
  7.   Finland - Poppe Berg[8]
  8.   Denmark - TBC
  9.   Yugoslavia - Miloje Orlović
  10.    Switzerland - Alexandre Burger
  11.   France - Armand Lanoux
  12.   Spain - Julio Rico
  13.   Sweden - Edvard Matz[9]
  14.   Belgium - Ward Bogaert
  15.   Monaco - TBC
  16.   Luxembourg - TBC



  1. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1963". Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Eurovision Song Contest 1963". EBU. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Dyke accused of conflict of interest over £6m holding in rival TV firm". The Independent. London. 17 January 2000.
  4. ^ "Conductors". Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 1963". The Diggiloo Thrush. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Nederlandse televisiecommentatoren bij het Eurovisie Songfestival". Eurovision Artists (in Dutch).
  7. ^ Dyrseth, Seppo (OGAE Norway)
  8. ^ "Selostajat ja taustalaulajat läpi vuosien? • Viisukuppila". Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  9. ^ "". Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 10 August 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Roxburgh, Gordon (2012). Songs For Europe The United Kingdom at The Eurovision Song Contest Volume One: The 1950s and 1960s. UK: Telos. p. 326. ISBN 978-1-84583-065-6.
  11. ^ Christian Masson. "1963 - Londres". Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  12. ^!15
  13. ^ Leif Thorsson. Melodifestivalen genom tiderna ["Melodifestivalen through time"] (2006), p. 46. Stockholm: Premium Publishing AB. ISBN 91-89136-29-2

External linksEdit

  Media related to Eurovision Song Contest 1963 at Wikimedia Commons