ESC LONDON 1963 (8ª)


  • Dates – Grand Final: Saturday, 23 March 1963 – 20:00 CET
  • Host – Venue & Location:BBC Television Centre (TVC), London, 🇬🇧 United Kindom
  • Presenter (s): Katie Boyle
  • Musical Director: Eric Robinson
  • Director: Yvonne Littlewood
  • Executive Producer: Harry Carlisle
  • Executive Supervisor:
  • Multicamera Director: Yvonne Littlewood
  • Host broadcaster: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Interval Act: Ola & Barbro
  • Participants – Number of entries: 16 [🇧🇪 Belgium (8ª), 🇫🇷 France (8ª), 🇩🇪 Germany (8ª), 🇮🇹 Italy (8ª), 🇳🇱 The Netherlands (8ª), 🇨🇭 Switzerland (8ª), 🇦🇹 Austria (7ª), 🇩🇰 Denmark (7ª), 🇸🇪 Sweden (6ª), 🇬🇧 United Kindom (6ª), 🇲🇨Monaco (5ª), 🇱🇺 Luxembourg (7ª), 🇳🇴 Norway (4ª), 🇫🇮 Finland (3ª), 🇪🇸 Spain (3ª),  Yugoslavia (3ª)]
  • Debuting countries:
  • Return:
  • Non-returning countries:
  • Vote – Voting system: Twenty-member juries awarded points to their five favourite songs. Each country’s jury awarded 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 points.
  • Nil Points: 🇫🇮 Finland (1ª), 🇳🇱 The Netherlands (2ª), 🇳🇴 Norway (1ª), 🇸🇪 Sweden (1ª).
  • Winning song: 1f3c6 “Dansevise” – Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann – 🇩🇰 Denmark (1ª)

Logo ESC 1963

AboutThe 8th Eurovision Song Contest took place in London, despite a French victory in the preceding year. Denmark’s first victory would become controversial topic.

Controversy strikes. The honour of hosting this year’s song contest was handed over by the French to the United Kingdom. The main reason was that France did not want to host the song contest so soon after hosting it twice in Cannes in 1959 and 1961. Big international stars took part in this year’s competition, like Esther Ofarim for Switzerland, Nana Mouskouri for Luxembourg and Francoise Hardy for Monaco. Host Broadcaster BBC tried a different approach for the presentation of the Eurovision Song Contest. All songs were performed in one studio, but the audience was located in another. Each song had its own unique staging, and the change of set was done very quickly. As a result of this, rumours began that the performances were pre-recorded which later turned out to be untrue. The Norwegian head of jury was still busy adding up the individual votes of the 20 jury members when called in by the presenter Katie Boyle. Struck by panic, the Norwegian jury secretary gave an intermediate result, reading the points very quickly and in the wrong order. In accordance with the rules, Mrs. Boyle told the TV audience that she would come back to the Norwegian jury after all the other countries had voted. When the final result came in from the Norwegian jury, they were decisively different from the intermediate ones and gave the victory to Norway’s Nordic neighbour Denmark in a close race with Switzerland.

About the winner. “Dansevise” performed by Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann gave Denmark it’s first victory in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Facts & figures. “Dansevise” became the first winning Eurovision Song Contest entry to be performed by a duo and also the first Scandinavian winner.

o/r  country  participant (s) song – translate –  language Points  rank
01 🇬🇧 United Kindom BBC Ronnie Carroll Say wonderful things English 028 04
02 🇳🇱 The Netherlands NTS Annie Palmen Een speeldoos (A musical box) Dutch 000 13
03 🇩🇪 Germany ARD Heidi Brühl Marcel German 005 09
04 🇦🇹 Austria ÖRF Carmela Corren Vielleicht geschieht ein Wunder (Maybe a miracle will happen) German, English 016 07
05 🇳🇴 Norway NRK Anita Thallaug Solhverv (Solstice) Norwegian 000 13
06 🇮🇹 Italy RAI Emilio Pericoli Uno per tutte (One for all) Italian 037 03
07 🇫🇮 Finland YLE Laila Halme Muistojeni laulu (The song of my memories) Finnish 000 13
08 🇩🇰 Denmark DR Grethe & Jørgen Ingman Dansevise (Dance ballad) Danish 042 01
09  Yugoslavia JRT Vice Vukov (Вице Вуков) Brodovi (Бродови, Ships) Serbo-Croatian 003 11
10 🇨🇭 Switzerland SSR SRG Esther Ofarim (אסתר עופרים‎) T’en vas pas (Don’t go away) French 040 02
11 🇫🇷 France RTF Alain Barrière Elle était si jolie (She was so pretty) French 025 05
12 🇪🇸 Spain TVE José Guardiola Algo prodigioso (Something marvellous) Spanish 002 12
13 🇸🇪 Sweden SR Monica Zetterlund En gång i Stockholm (Once in Stockholm) Swedish 000 13
14 🇧🇪 Belgium BRT Jacques Raymond Waarom? (Why?) Dutch 004 10
15 🇲🇨 Monaco TMC Françoise Hardy L’amour s’en va (Love goes away) French 025 05
16 🇱🇺 Luxembourg CLT Nana Mouskouri (Nάνα Μούσχουρη) À force de prier (By the might of prayer) French 013 08

Missed participation:

• 🇪🇸 Spain: “Nubes De Colores” (Spanish) – José Guardiola. Conflicting reports state that TVE’s aim was to use the Festival de la Canción Mediterránea (Mediterranean Song Festival) as the national final, while others maintain that TVE’s intention was to select internally one of the performers that had won a prize in one of the many song festivals that used to take place across the Spanish geography. José Guardiola had won the 1962 Mediterranean Song Festival with the song “Nubes de colores”, but the result was declared null and void the day after the festival because a fix was discovered in the voting process. Paper ballots were sold to the audience in the hall; however, by the end of the festival, more ballots were counted in the box than the number that had been sold. José Guardiola was chosen to represent Spain but with another song, “Algo prodigioso”.

Participation map

A coloured map of the countries of Europe

Transmitirá a 2º semifinal noutro horário. Participating countries

ESC 1963 Scoreboard Ι Detailed voting results:

Scoreboard - Eurovision Song Contest 1963

The Eurovision Song Contest 1963 was the eighth edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest and took place in London, United Kingdom. It was organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), who agreed to stage the event after France, who had won the 1962 edition, declined to host it due to financial shortcomings, also having hosted the competition in 1959 and 1961. The contest was held at the BBC Television Centre on Saturday 23 March 1963 and was hosted by Katie Boyle for a second time.

Sixteen countries participated in the contest, the same countries that had participated the previous year.

The contest this year was won by Denmark with the song “Dansevise”, performed by Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann. This was the first victory for any of the Nordic countries. 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.

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

1.Location. 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 redeveloped in March 2013.

2.Format. 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 could not see this, so it appeared 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.

After the 1962 edition was the only one to be held on a Sunday, the contest was held on a Saturday again in 1963.

2.1.Voting controversy. 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. Boyle asked Norway to repeat their results, but the Norwegian spokesman asked Boyle to return to them after all the other results were in. When Boyle 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, because votes from the 20 jury members were still being tallied.

Monaco was also asked to repeat their voting a second time as initially Monaco gave one point to both the United Kingdom and Luxembourg. However, when 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).

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.

3.Participating countries. All countries which participated in the 1962 edition also participated in the 1963 edition.

3.1.Conductors. The participating conductors were:

  • 🇬🇧 United Kindom – Eric Robinson
  • 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Eric Robinson
  • 🇩🇪 Germany – Willy Berking
  • 🇦🇹 Austria – Erwin Halletz
  • 🇳🇴 Norway – Øivind Bergh
  • 🇮🇹 Italy – Gigi Cichellero 
  • 🇫🇮 Finland – George de Godzinsky
  • 🇩🇰 Denmark – Kai Mortensen
  •  Yugoslavia – Miljenko Prohaska
  • 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Eric Robinson
  • 🇫🇷 France – Franck Pourcel
  • 🇪🇸 Spain – Rafael Ibarbia 
  • 🇸🇪 Sweden – William Lind 
  • 🇧🇪 Belgium – Francis Bay
  • 🇲🇨 Monaco – Raymond Lefèvre
  • 🇱🇺 Luxembourg – Eric Robinson

3.2.Returning artists.

Artist Country Previous year(s)
Ronnie Carroll 🇬🇧 United Kindom 1962

3.3.Participants and results.

3.4.All the national selections for Eurovision Song Contest 1963: 

• National Selections in 1963:

🇧🇪 Belgium Eurosong 1963 Jacques Raymond – “Waarom”
🇩🇰 Denmark Melodi Grand Prix 1963 Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann – Dansevise
🇫🇮 Finland (Finnish Selection 1963) Laila Halme – “Muistojeni laulu
🇩🇪 Germany (German Selection 1963) (song selection) [d] Heidi Brühl – “Marcel”
🇮🇹 Italy Sanremo 1963 Emilio Pericoli – “Uno per tutte
🇳🇱 The Netherlands Nationaal Songfestival 1963 (song selection) [a] Annie Palmen – “Een speeldoos
🇳🇴 Norway Melodi Grand Prix 1963 [b] Anita Thallaug – “Solhverv
🇸🇪 Sweden Eurovisionsschlagern 1963 [c] Monica Zetterlund – “En gång i Stockholm
🇨🇭 Switzerland Concours Eurovision 1963 Esther Ofarim – “T’en va pas”
🇬🇧 United Kindom A Song for Europe 1963 Ronnie Carroll – “Say Wonderful Things”
 Yugoslavia Jugovizija 1963 Vice Vukov – “Brodovi” (Бродови)

• Internal Selections in 1963: 

🇦🇹 Austria Carmela Corren – “Vielleicht geschieht ein Wunder
🇫🇷 France Alain Barrière – “Elle était si jolie
🇱🇺 Luxembourg Nana Mouskouri – “À force de prier”
🇲🇨 Monaco Françoise Hardy – “Algo prodigioso
🇪🇸 Spain José Guardiola – “Algo prodigioso


4.Voting. 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. Errors in the Norwegian (see above) and the Monegasque votes meant their scores had to be announced twice, with an adjustment to the scores being made in each case before the final score was verified.

Voting results
Total score
Regatul Unit Țările de Jos Germania Austria Norvegia Italia Finlanda Danemarca Iugoslavia Elveția
Franța Spania Suedia Belgia Monaco Luxemburg
🇬🇧 United Kindom 28 3 5 3 3 3 3 5 2 1
🇳🇱 The 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

4.1.5 points. Below is a summary of all 5 points received:

N. Contestant Nation(s) giving 5 points
5 🇩🇰 Denmark 🇧🇪 Belgium,  Finland,  🇱🇺 Luxembourg, 🇳🇱 The Netherlands, 🇸🇪 Sweden
3 🇮🇹 Italy 🇩🇰 Denmark, 🇲🇨 Monaco, 🇨🇭 Switzerland
🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇦🇹 Austria, 🇮🇹 Italy, 🇬🇧 United Kindom
2 🇬🇧 United Kindom 🇳🇴 Norway, 🇪🇸 Spain
🇲🇨 Monaco 🇫🇷 France, 🇩🇪 Germany 
1 🇫🇷 France  Yugoslavia

4.2.Spokespersons. Listed below is 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.

  1.  United Kingdom – Pete Murray
  2. 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Pim Jacobs
  3. 🇩🇪 Germany – Werner Veigel
  4. 🇦🇹 Austria – Emil Kollpacher
  5. 🇳🇴 Norway – Roald Øyen
  6. 🇮🇹 Italy – Enzo Tortora
  7.  Finland – Poppe Berg
  8. 🇩🇰 Denmark – TBC
  9.  Yugoslavia – Miloje Orlović
  10. 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Alexandre Burger 
  11. 🇫🇷 France – Armand Lanoux
  12. 🇪🇸 Spain – Julio Rico
  13. 🇸🇪 Sweden – Edvard Matz
  14. 🇧🇪 Belgium – Ward Bogaert
  15. 🇲🇨 Monaco – TBC
  16.  🇱🇺 Luxembourg – TBC

5.Broadcasts. Each national broadcaster also sent a commentator to the contest, in order to provide coverage of the contest in their own native language.

Broadcasters and commentators in participating countries
Country Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s)
🇦🇹 Austria ORF Hanns Joachim Friedrichs
🇧🇪 Belgium RTB French: Pierre Delhasse
BRT Dutch: Herman Verelst and Denise Maes
🇩🇰 Denmark Danmarks Radio TV Ole Mortensen
🇫🇮 Finland Suomen Televisio Aarno Walli 
Yleisradio Erkki Melakoski 
🇫🇷 France Première Chaîne RTF Pierre Tchernia
🇩🇪 Germany  Deutsches Fernsehen Hanns Joachim Friedrichs
🇮🇹 Italy Programma Nazionale Renato Tagliani 
 🇱🇺 Luxembourg Télé-Luxembourg Pierre Tchernia
🇲🇨 Monaco Télé Monte Carlo
🇳🇱 The Netherlands NTS Willem Duys
🇳🇴 Norway NRK, NRK P1 Øivind Johnssen
🇪🇸 Spain TVE Federico Gallo 
🇸🇪 Sweden Sveriges TV, SR P1 Jörgen Cederberg 
🇨🇭 Switzerland TV DRS German: Theodor Haller 
TSR French: Georges Hardy 
TSI Italian: Renato Tagliani
🇬🇧 United Kindom BBC TV David Jacobs
BBC Light Programme Michael Aspel
 Yugoslavia Televizija Beograd Serbo-Croatian: Ljubomir Vukadinović 
Televizija Zagreb Serbo-Croatian: Gordana Bonetti 
Televizija Ljubljana Slovene: Saša Novak
Broadcasters and commentators in non-participating countries
Country Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s)
🇵🇹 Portugal RTP Federico Gallo [


6.1.Norwegian jury votes. 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 ahead of 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 votes when Norway was called up. Not only were the votes 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 votes 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.


  • [a] Annie Palmen was internally selected to represent The Netherlands at Eurovision 1963. The song that Palmen performed at Eurovision was selected through Nationaal Songfestival 1963. The Songfestival was never broadcast on TV or radio due to a strike from the orchestra. Instead, Palmen performed the three songs for the jury alone. Annie Palmen won Nationaal Songfestival 1963 with the song “Geen ander”. At Eurovision 1963 Annie performed the song with new lyrics and a new song title: “Een Speeldoos”.
  • [b] Norway held a national selection to choose the song for Eurovision Song Contest 1963. Each song was performed twice by different artists. The winning song, “Solhverv” was performed by Nora Brockstedt, was determined by ten regional juries. Nora Brockstedt was first selected as the Norwegian artists for Eurovision 1963, but she pulled out of a third Eurovision appearance. Instead Anita Thallaug was asked by the broadcaster to go to Eurovision 1963.
  • [c] Sweden held a national selection to choose the song for Eurovision Song Contest 1963. All songs were performed by two different artists: “En gång i Stockholm” was performed by Monica Zetterlund / Carli Tornehave. At Eurovision Song Contest 1963, the Swedish song “En gång i Stockholm” was performed by Monica Zetterlund.
  • [d] Germany held a national selection to choose the song for Eurovision Song Contest 1963. Heidi Brühl was internally selected to represent Germany at Eurovision 1963. The song “Marcel” that Heidi performed at Eurovision was selected through a national final with six songs.

8.Trivial / Fun facts.

  • Big stars took part in 1963, like Esther Ofarim for Switzerland, Nana Mouskouri for Luxembourg and Francoise Hardy for Monaco.

← Eurovision Song Contest 1962 • Eurovision Song Contest 1963 • Eurovision Song Contest 1964 →

Countries (in order of appearance)

Final United Kingdom ⦁ The Netherlands ⦁ Germany ⦁ Austria ⦁ Norway ⦁ Italy ⦁ Finland ⦁ Denmark (winner) ⦁ Yugoslavia ⦁ Switzerland • France ⦁ Spain ⦁ Sweden ⦁ Belgium • Monaco • Luxembourg

Artists (in order of appearance)

Final Ronnie Carroll ⦁ Annie Palmen ⦁ Heidi Brühl ⦁ Carmela Corren ⦁ Anita Thallaug ⦁ Emilio Pericoli ⦁ Laila Halme ⦁ Grethe and Jørgen Ingmann (winner) ⦁ Vice Vukov ⦁ Esther Ofarim ⦁ Alain Barrière • José Guardiola ⦁ Monica Zetterlund ⦁ Jacques Raymond ⦁ Françoise Hardy • Nana Mouskouri

Songs (in order of appearance)

Final “Say Wonderful Things” ⦁ “Een speeldoos” ⦁ “Marcel” ⦁ “Vielleicht geschieht ein Wunder” ⦁ “Solhverv” ⦁ “Uno per tutte” ⦁ “Muistojeni laulu” ⦁ “Dansevise” (winner) ⦁ “Brodovi” (Бродови) ⦁ “T’en va pas” ⦁ “Elle était si jolie” • “Algo prodigioso” ⦁ “En gång i Stockholm” ⦁ “Waarom?” ⦁ “L’amour s’en va” • “À force de prier
Withdraw: Spain: José Guardiola – “Nubes De Colores”