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The United Kingdom held a national preselection to choose the song that would go to the Eurovision Song Contest 1973. It was held on 24 February 1973 and presented by Cilla Black as part of her BBC1 series Cilla. Cliff Richard performed all of the six finalists in the final, where the performances were then immediately repeated. He had previously performed one of the songs weekly in the run up to the final. Richard had been permitted to choose two songs for the shortlist of 12 entries, from which a panel including his manager and producer selected the final six. Viewers cast votes by postcards through the mail to choose the winning song and "Power to All Our Friends" was the winner with 125,505 votes, very nearly four times the score of the runner-up "Come Back Billie-Jo" which polled 34,209. Both songs were released as the A & B-Sides of a single, which reached No.4 in the UK singles chart, Cliff's first top 5 hit since "Congratulations" in 1968 and his last until 1979. For the first and only time in the history of the contest, all the entries from the UK final reached the UK singles chart. Following the release of the top two songs, the remaining four were issued as an extended play Eurovision Special single, which reached No.29 in the charts later in the year. The lead track, "Help It Along" was later released as the title track of Cliff's 1974 live album of Christian gospel music. All six songs were eventually made available on CD compilations. Richard recorded German, Spanish and French versions of the winning song. Eurovision Song Contest 1971 winner Séverine reached No.46 in the French singles chart with her French-language version of the song, "Il faut chanter la vie".
|Eurovision Song Contest 1973|
|Selection process||Artist: Internal selection|
Song: A Song for Europe 1973
|Selection date(s)||24 February 1973|
|Selected entrant||Cliff Richard|
|Selected song||"Power to All Our Friends"|
|Final result||3rd, 123 points|
|United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest|
A Song for Europe 1973Edit
|1||"Come Back, Billie Jo"||Mitch Murray, Tony Macaulay||34,209||2|
|2||"Ashes to Ashes"||Tony Cole||17,115||6|
|3||"Tomorrow Rising"||Mike Hawker, Brian Bennett||21,858||4|
|4||"The Days of Love"||Dougie Wright, Alan Hawkshaw||18,304||5|
|5||"Power to All Our Friends"||Guy Fletcher, Doug Flett||125,505||1|
|6||"Help It Along"||Christopher Neil||25,369||3|
"Power to All Our Friends" placed 3rd in the Eurovision Song Contest. The 1973 contest became the most watched Eurovision Song Contest in the UK, with 23.54 million watching Cliff Richard perform in Luxembourg, almost 1 million more viewers than the record set in 1972. For the second year running, the contest was the No.1 rated TV show for the entire year in the UK.
This was also the first Eurovision Song Contest where Terry Wogan provided the BBC television commentary, having previously provided the BBC radio commentary for the 1971 Contest. Pete Murray returned for the fourth time to provide the radio commentary for BBC Radio 1 and 2 listeners.
- Roxburgh, Gordon (2014). Songs for Europe: The United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest. Volume Two: The 1970s. Prestatyn: Telos Publishing. pp. 99–112. ISBN 978-1-84583-093-9.
- "Final of Luxembourg 1973". Eurovision Song Contest. Archived from the original on 9 April 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
- "Classic TV - Old UK TV Show Ratings - 70s| FiftiesWeb".
- "Results of the Final of Luxembourg 1973". European Broadcasting Union. Archived from the original on 9 April 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2021.