Every Eurovision Winner 1980 to 1989

Every Eurovision Winner 1980 to 1989

In some ways, it’s the song contest everyone loves to hate. Not least, here in the United Kingdom, because we’re now infamous for being awarded nil points. This post reveals every Eurovision winner from 1980 to 1989 – and things were clearly somewhat different during the 1980s.

If you want to know what the Eurovision 1980 winner song was, or indeed the one for 1981 onwards (up until 1989), stay right here as I delve into the musical archives. Terry Wogan’s dry, witty commentary and the very real possibility of actually winning… in some ways Eurovision song contests of the 80s were like some sort of parallel universe.

One of the most famous Eurovision winners ever performed for Switzerland in 1988, while another solo artist made contest history by clinching the number one position twice.

Here are the 10 Eurovision winners by year, from 1980 to 1989. Plus a few fascinating facts about each year’s contest.

Eurovision winner 1980

25th Eurovision Song Contest

  • Country: Ireland
  • Artist: Johnny Logan
  • Song: What’s Another Year?
  • Location: The Hague, Netherlands (in place of Israel)
  • UK position: 3rd

Due to the contest date – 19th April 1980 – being Holocaust Memorial Day, 1979 champions Israel made Eurovision winners history by not taking part in the next event. The contest was held in The Netherlands instead.

Johnny Logan’s What’s Another Year? that won was a big hit all over Europe – and he wasn’t yet done with Eurovision. Not by a long chalk.

Eurovision winner 1981

26th Eurovision Song Contest

  • Country: UK
  • Artist: Bucks Fizz
  • Song: Making Your Mind Up
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • UK position: 1st

Yep, the UK actually won the Eurovision song contest in 1981! Bucks Fizz did the business for us, with Bobby G and Mike Nolan famously ripping the skirts off Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston during the performance. They were wearing shorter skirts beneath.

In spring, the song spent three weeks at number one on the 1981 UK singles chart.

Eurovision winner 1982

27th Eurovision Song Contest

  • Country: Germany
  • Artist: Nicole
  • Song: Ein bißchen Frieden
  • Location: Harrogate, UK
  • UK position: 7th

Nicole’s winning song was a mega hit across the continent. At various times, it was performed or recorded in English, German, French and Dutch.

Somewhat unusually, the UK chose a venue in Harrogate, in northern England, rather than hosting the contest in a better-known location like London, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh or Cardiff.

Eurovision winner 1983

28th Eurovision Song Contest

  • Country: Luxembourg
  • Artist: Corinne Hermes
  • Song: Si La Vie Est Cadeau
  • Location: Munich, Germany
  • UK position: 6th

1983 was the first – but far from the last – time the televised Eurovision final show lasted in excess of three hours.

Swedish entrant Carola Häggkvist’s Främling outperformed Corinne Hermes in the European charts in 1983, despite not winning Eurovision.

Eurovision winner 1984

29th Eurovision Song Contest

  • Country: Sweden
  • Artist: The Herreys
  • Song: Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley
  • Location: Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • UK position: 7th

Exactly a decade after ABBA won for Sweden, The Herreys did the honours for the nation once more with Diggi-Loo Diggi-Ley.

A song penned by Johnny Logan – who’d won for Ireland in 1980 – was hotly tipped to win, but was pipped at the post and ended up placing second.

Eurovision winner 1985

30th Eurovision Song Contest

  • Country: Norway
  • Artist: Bobbysocks
  • Song: La Det Swinge
  • Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
  • UK position: 4th

The winners of the 30th Eurovision song contest comprised a duo made up of two previous, separate entrants. Hanne Krogh was 17th in 1971, while Elisabeth Andreasson came 8th in 1982.

The first-ever winner attended the 30th Eurovision Song Contest. She was Lys Assia, who’d won for Switzerland in 1956.

Eurovision winner 1986

31st Eurovision Song Contest

  • Country: Belgium
  • Artist: Sandra Kim
  • Song: J’Aime La Vie
  • Location: Bergen, Norway
  • UK position: 7th

Before 1990, there was no minimum age for a Eurovision entrant, and thus 13 year old winner Sandra Kim was barely a teenager when she won.

The other notable fact from the 1986 contest was the fact that the 500th Eurovision entry was performed during the show. This was Luxembourg’s entry, coming three years after they clinched victory in 1983.

Eurovision winner 1987

32nd Eurovision Song Contest

  • Country: Ireland
  • Artist: Johnny Logan
  • Song: Hold Me Now
  • Location: Brussels, Belgium
  • UK position: 13th

The 32nd Eurovision in 1987 was the first time during the 80s that the UK placed lower than tenth. Ireland again took the prize, with Johnny Logan’s Hold Me Now. Following his 1980 victory, he was the first contestant ever to win again.

22 countries entered in 1987, so the contest featured the highest number of songs so far since its 1956 inception.

Eurovision winner 1988

33rd Eurovision Song Contest

  • Country: Switzerland
  • Artist: Celine Dion
  • Song: Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi
  • Location: Dublin, Ireland
  • UK position: 2nd

The 1988 contest saw the UK faring far better than in the previous year. We came second with Go performed by Scott Fitzgerald.

Being beaten was no cause for shame, however. Celine Dion took the honours for Switzerland. Later, she became one of the top selling female singers of all time.

Eurovision winner 1989

34th Eurovision Song Contest

  • Country: Yugoslavia
  • Artist: Riva
  • Song: Rock Me
  • Location: Lausanne, Switzerland
  • UK position: 2nd

The UK was the runner-up again in 1989, the last contest of the 80s. In fact the winner was something of a surprise. Chart success didn’t really happen, though, and Riva split two years later.

Celine Dion performed two songs – Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi and Where Does My Heart Beat Now when she opened the show.  

Who’s your favourite Eurovision Winner 1980 to 1989?

So we did have a Eurovision winner for the UK during the 80s! Plus two for Ireland – and Hold Me Now it for me one of those 80s power ballads that’s stood the test of time.

Some entries were much more forgettable – but Celine Dion? For Switzerland? Who knew!

Marcy x

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