- 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: “Dansevise” – Grethe & Jørgen Ingmann – 🇩🇰 Denmark (1ª)
About. The 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|
• 🇪🇸 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”.
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.
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
|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.
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||28||3||5||3||3||3||3||5||2||1|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||0|
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|
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.
- United Kingdom – Pete Murray
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Pim Jacobs
- 🇩🇪 Germany – Werner Veigel
- 🇦🇹 Austria – Emil Kollpacher
- 🇳🇴 Norway – Roald Øyen
- 🇮🇹 Italy – Enzo Tortora
- Finland – Poppe Berg
- 🇩🇰 Denmark – TBC
- Yugoslavia – Miloje Orlović
- 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Alexandre Burger
- 🇫🇷 France – Armand Lanoux
- 🇪🇸 Spain – Julio Rico
- 🇸🇪 Sweden – Edvard Matz
- 🇧🇪 Belgium – Ward Bogaert
- 🇲🇨 Monaco – TBC
- 🇱🇺 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.
|🇦🇹 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||–|
|🇫🇷 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||–|
|🇵🇹 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.
- 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”|