It is almost half a century ago, but the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest remains a high water mark in the history of the event.
It is right up there with the highest level of television production from the 1960s – an era when the medium was finding its own kind of music.
This was television as television, pure and not so simple.
In fact it was very complex.
So why was 1963 such a big deal ?
The director, Yvonne Littlewood, grabbed the many opportunities offered by the almost completed BBC Television Centre at White City (venue of the 1908 Olympics) to show off a) the Beeb & b) the medium.
It was the one and only time the ESC singers performed primarily for the camera & the viewers.
The live audience, scoreboard and compère were in one studio, while the business end of the night was conducted in an adjacent studio.
The result is a Eurovision where the direction and staging were unique for each song – and some of the results were remarkable.
There’s so much to enjoy and wonder at.
And then there’s the thing most people recall about 63 – the voting kerfuffle.
FYI Studio 4 was the performance studio, Studio 5 housed the audience and Studio 6 the interval act.
This blogpost and the History Chat is dedicated to Ola & Barbro !!
- Special report: ESC’s healing powers (joyeurovision.com)
- Special Report: Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest 1975-1979 (joyeurovision.com)
- Special Report: Auntie’s quandary – UK in 2012 (joyeurovision.com)