- Dates – Grand Final: Saturday, 06 April 1968 – 20:00 CET
- Host – Venue & Location: Royal Albert Hall, London, 🇬🇧 United Kindom
- Presenter (s): Katie Boyle
- Musical Director: Norrie Paramor
- Director: Stewart Morris
- Executive Producer: Clifford Brown
- Executive Supervisor: Tom Sloan
- Multicamera Director: Stewart Morris
- Host broadcaster: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
- Interval Act: Impressions from London
- Participants – Number of entries: 17 [🇧🇪 Belgium (13ª), 🇫🇷 France (13ª), 🇩🇪 Germany (13ª), 🇮🇹 Italy (13ª), 🇳🇱 The Netherlands (13ª), 🇨🇭 Switzerland (13ª), 🇦🇹 Austria (12ª), 🇬🇧 United Kindom (11ª), 🇲🇨Monaco (10ª), 🇱🇺 Luxembourg (12ª), 🇳🇴 Norway (9ª), 🇫🇮 Finland (8ª), 🇪🇸 Spain (8ª), Yugoslavia (8ª), 🇵🇹 Portugal (5ª), 🇮🇪 Ireland (4ª), 🇸🇪 Sweden (10ª)]
- Debuting countries: —
- Return: —
- Non-returning countries: —
- Vote – Voting system: Ten-member juries distributed ten points among their favourite songs. Each participating country had 10 jury members, and each jury member could award one point to one song.
- Nil Points: —
- Winning song: “La, la, la” – Massiel – 🇪🇸 Spagna (1ª)
About. The thirteenth Eurovision Song Contest which took place in the Royal Albert Hall in London was the first Eurovision Song Contest to be broadcast in colour. The bookmakers were sure of another British victory since Cliff Richard – who had dominated the European charts for several years already – decided to represent his native country.
Congratulations… with your second place!. France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom broadcast the 1968 contest in colour despite the fact that very few TV-viewers at home owned a colour TV set. However, colour was here to stay and all song contests since then have been broadcast primarily in colour. Some countries hired foreign singers to sing for them: Germany was represented by Norwegian Wenche Myhre and Austria’s entry was performed by Karel Gott from Prague.
About the winner. The 1968 Eurovision Song Contest turned out to have a nailbiting finish when the United Kingdom entry and big favourite Congratulations by Cliff Richard was beaten by just one point by Spain’s Massiel. Originally Massiel’s song “La La La” was supposed to be sung by Spanish singer Joan Manuel Serrat who wanted perfom the song in Catalan. At the request of Spanish officials, Juan Manuel was replaced by Massiel who sang the same song in Spanish.
Facts & figures. The 1968 Eurovision Song Contest was not only broadcast in the participating countries, but also all of Eastern Europe and Tunisia could follow it; For Katie Boyle, it was already her third Eurovision Song Contest as a presenter, but not her last: Mrs. Boyle would return for yet another contest just as the unlucky Cliff Richard would also do!
|o/r||country||participant (s)||song – translage – language||Points||rank|
|01||🇵🇹 Portugal RTP||Carlos Mendes||Verão (Summer) Portuguese||005||01|
|02||🇳🇱 The Netherlands NTS||Ronnie Tober||Morgen (Tomorrow) Dutch||001||16|
|03||🇧🇪 Belgium RTB||Claude Lombard||Quand tu reviendras (When you come back) French||008||07|
|04||🇦🇹 Austria ÖRF||Karel Gott||Tausend fenster (One thousand windows) German||002||13|
|05||🇱🇺 Luxembourg CLT||Chris Baldo & Sophie Garel||Nous vivrons d’amour (We will live by love) French||005||11|
|06||🇨🇭 Switzerland SSR SRG||Gianni Mascolo||Guardando il sole (Looking into the sun) Italian||002||13|
|07||🇲🇨 Monaco TMC||Line & Willy||À chacun sa chanson (To everyone his song) French||008||07|
|08||🇸🇪 Sweden SR||Claes-Göran Hederström||Det börjar verka kärlek, banne mej (It’s beginning to look like love, damn it) Swedish||015||05|
|09||🇫🇮 Finland YLE||Kristina Hautala||Kun kello käy (When time goes by) Finnish||001||16|
|10||🇫🇷 France ORTF||Isabelle Aubret||La source (The source) French||020||03|
|11||🇮🇹 Italy RAI||Sergio Endrigo||Marianne Italian||007||10|
|12||🇬🇧 United Kindom BBC||Cliff Richard||Congratulations English||028||02|
|13||🇳🇴 Norway NRK||Odd Børre||Stress Norwegian||002||13|
|14||🇮🇪 Ireland RTÉ||Pat McGeegan||Chance of a lifetime English||018||04|
|15||🇪🇸 Spain TVE||Massiel||La, la, la Spanish||029||01|
|16||🇩🇪 Germany ARD||Wencke Myhre||Ein hoch der liebe (A toast to love) German||011||06|
|17||Yugoslavia JRT||Dubrovački Trubaduri (Дубровачки трубадури, Luciano ‘Lući’ Kapurso and Hamo Hajdarhodžić)||Jedan dan (Један дан, One day) Serbo-Croatian||008||07|
• 🇳🇴 Norway: “Jag Har Aldri Vært Så Glad I No’en Som Deg” (Norwegian) – Odd Børre. “Stress” originally finished second in the 1968 Melodi Grand Prix on 3 March, but was promoted to the Norwegian entry when the winning song “Jag har aldri vært så glad i no’en som deg” was withdrawn from the contest by its composer amid persistent allegations that it plagiarised the 1963 hit “Summer Holiday” by Cliff Richard – who ironically was the United Kingdom’s singer in the 1968 contest. This is the only occasion on which the MGP winner did not go forward to Eurovision.
• 🇪🇸 Spain: “La la la” (Spanish – Catalan) – Joan Manuel Serrat. Originally, the artist chosen to perform “La, la, la” at Eurovision was singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat. However, he intended to sing the song in Catalan. The Franco dictatorship would not allow this – and insisted that the entry should be performed in Spanish, official language for all the territories of Spain, although Serrat wanted to claim for the other regional languages of this country, repressed under the Franco dictatorship. On 29 March 1968, one week before the contest, Massiel was asked to replace Joan Manuel Serrat as Spain’s representative at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Participating countries Countries that participated in the past but not in 1968
The Eurovision Song Contest 1968 was the 13th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in London, United Kingdom, following the country’s first victory at the 1967 contest with the song “Puppet on a String” by Sandie Shaw. Despite having won for the first time the year before, it was actually the third time that the United Kingdom had hosted the competition, having previously done so in 1960 and 1963, both of which also took place in London. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the contest was held at Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 6 April 1968, and was hosted by Katie Boyle for the third time. It was notably also the first time that the contest was broadcast in colour.
Seventeen countries participated in the contest, the same countries that had participated the previous year.
The winner was Spain with the song “La, la, la” by Massiel, and written/composed by Manuel de la Calva and Ramón Arcusa. This was Spain’s first victory – and their first ever top five placing – in the contest. With her winning reprise, she became the first winner to perform part of her song in English, in addition to the original version.
1.Location. The contest was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The Royal Albert Hall is known for hosting the world’s leading artists from several performance genres, sports, award ceremonies, the annual summer Proms concerts and other events since its opening in 1871, and has become one of the United Kingdom’s most treasured and distinctive buildings.
2.Format. 1968 was the first time that the Eurovision Song Contest was broadcast in colour. The countries that broadcast it in colour were France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, although in the UK it was broadcast as an encore presentation in colour on BBC Two the next day. All of Eastern Europe as well as Tunisia broadcast the contest as well.
Prior to the contest, the bookmakers were sure of another British victory, as the English singer Cliff Richard, who was already dominating the music charts at that time, was hotly tipped as the favourite to win, but in the end he lost out to Spain’s song by a margin of just one point.
Originally Massiel’s song La La La was supposed to be sung by Spanish singer Joan Manuel Serrat who wanted to perform the song in Catalan. At the request of Spanish officials, however, Juan Manuel was replaced by Massiel who sang the same song in Castilian (Spanish).
3.Participating countries. All countries that had participated in 1967 also participated in 1968.
3.1.Conductors. Each performance had a maestro who conducted the orchestra.
- 🇵🇹 Portugal – Joaquim Luís Gomes
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Dolf van der Linden
- 🇧🇪 Belgium – Henri Segers
- 🇦🇹 Austria – Robert Opratko
- 🇱🇺 Luxembourg – André Borly
- 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Mario Robbiani
- 🇲🇨 Monaco – Michel Colombier
- 🇸🇪 Sweden – Mats Olsson
- 🇫🇮 Finland – Ossi Runne
- 🇫🇷 France – Alain Goraguer
- 🇮🇹 Italy – Giancarlo Chiaramello
- 🇬🇧 United Kindom – Norrie Paramor
- 🇳🇴 Norway – Øivind Bergh
- 🇮🇪 Ireland– Noel Kelehan
- 🇪🇸 Spain – Rafael Ibarbia
- 🇩🇪 Germany – Horst Jankowski
- Yugoslavia – Miljenko Prohaska
|Isabelle Aubret||🇫🇷 France||1962|
3.3.Participants and results.
3.4.All the national selections for Eurovision Song Contest 1968:
• National Selections in 1968:
|🇧🇪 Belgium||Eurosong 1968||Claude Lombard – “Quand tu reviendras“|
|🇫🇮 Finland||(Finnish Selection 1968)||Kristina Hautala – “Kun kello käy“|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||(Irish Selection 1968)||Pat McGeegan – “Chance of a Lifetime”|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||Nationaal Songfestival 1968||Ronnie Tober – “Morgen“|
|🇳🇴 Norway||Melodi Grand Prix 1968||Odd Børre – “Stress”|
||Grande Prémio TV da Canção 1968||Carlos Mendes – “Verão“|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||Melodifestival 1968||Claes-Göran Hederström – “Det börjar verka kärlek, banne mig“|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||Concours Eurovision 1968||Gianni Mascolo – “Guardando il sole“|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||A Song for Europe 1968 (song selection)||Cliff Richard – “Congratulations”|
|Yugoslavia||Jugovizija 1968||Dubrovački Trubaduri (Luci Capurso and Hamo Hajdarhodžić) – “Jedan dan” (Један дан)|
• Internal Selections in 1968:
|🇦🇹 Austria||Karel Gott – “Tausend Fenster“|
|🇫🇷 France||Isabelle Aubret – “La source“|
|🇩🇪 Germany||Wencke Myhre – “Ein Hoch der Liebe“|
|🇮🇹 Italy||Sergio Endrigo – “Marianne“|
|🇱🇺 Luxembourg||Chris Baldo & Sophie Garel – “Nous vivrons d’amour“|
|🇲🇨 Monaco||Line & Willy – “À chacun sa chanson“|
|🇪🇸 Spain||Massiel – “La, la, la”|
4.Voting. Due to a misunderstanding by the hostess, Katie Boyle, Switzerland were erroneously awarded 3 points by Yugoslavia, instead of 2. The scrutineer asked for the Yugoslav votes from TV Skopje to be announced a second time.
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||1||1|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||28||1||2||2||1||4||5||3||2||4||1||1||2|
4.1.Spokespersons. Listed below is the order in which votes were cast during the 1968 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country.
- 🇵🇹 Portugal – Maria Manuela Furtado
- 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Warry van Kampen
- 🇧🇪 Belgium – André Hagon
- 🇦🇹 Austria – Walter Richard Langer
- 🇱🇺 Luxembourg – TBC
- 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Alexandre Burger
- 🇲🇨 Monaco – TBC
- 🇸🇪 Sweden – Edvard Matz
- 🇫🇮 Finland – Poppe Berg
- 🇫🇷 France – Jean-Claude Massoulier
- 🇮🇹 Italy – Mike Bongiorno
- 🇬🇧 United Kindom – Michael Aspel
- 🇳🇴 Norway – Sverre Christophersen
- 🇮🇪 Ireland – Gay Byrne
- 🇪🇸 Spain – Ramón Rivera
- 🇩🇪 Germany – Hans-Otto Grünefeldt
- Yugoslavia – Snežana Lipkovska-Hadžinaumova
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||FS1||Willy Kralik|
|🇧🇪 Belgium||RTB||French: Paule Herreman|
|BRT||Dutch: Herman Verelst|
|🇫🇮 Finland||TV-ohjelma 1||Aarno Walli|
|🇫🇷 France||Deuxième Chaîne ORTF||Pierre Tchernia||–|
|🇩🇪 Germany||Deutsches Fernsehen||Hans-Joachim Rauschenbach|
|🇮🇪 Ireland||RTÉ||Brendan O’Reilly|
|RTÉ Radio||Kevin Roche|
|🇮🇹 Italy||Secondo Programma||Renato Tagliani|
|🇱🇺 Luxembourg||Télé-Luxembourg||Jacques Navadic|
|🇲🇨 Monaco||Télé Monte Carlo||Pierre Tchernia|
|🇳🇱 The Netherlands||Nederland 1||Elles Berger|
|🇳🇴 Norway||NRK||Roald Øyen|
|🇵🇹 Portugal||RTP||Fialho Gouveia|
|🇪🇸 Spain||Primera Cadena||Federico Gallo|
|Radio Nacional||José María Íñigo||–|
|🇸🇪 Sweden||Sveriges TV||Christina Hansegård||–|
|🇨🇭 Switzerland||TV DRS||German: Theodor Haller|
|TSR||French: Georges Hardy|
|TSI||Italian: Giovanni Bertini|
|🇬🇧 United Kindom||BBC1||No commentary||–|
|BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2||Pete Murray||–|
|Yugoslavia||Televizija Beograd||Serbo-Croatian: Miloje Orlović|
|Televizija Zagreb||Serbo-Croatian: Mladen Delić|
|Televizija Ljubljana||Slovene: Tomaž Terček|
|East Germany||Deutscher Fernsehfunk||Unknown||–|
|Soviet Union||CT USSR||Igor Kirillov||–|
6.National jury members.
- 🇵🇹 Portugal – Maria Helena Oliveira Simões (housewife), Madalena Iglésias (singer), Maria João Aguiar (TV and radio presenter), Isabel Maria Spencer Vieira Martins (college student), António Reis (publishing director), José Joaquim Machado Leite (office secretary), António Moniz Pereira (member of the group Quarteto 1111), Bernardo Manuel Palma Mira Delgado (mechanical engineer), Luís Fernando Cardoso Nandim de Carvalho (university student), Pedro Manuel Mota Vaz do Castelo (radio presenter)
7.1.Spanish artist replacement. Originally Spain entered Joan Manuel Serrat to sing “La, la, la”, but his demand to sing in Catalan was an affront to the Francoist State dictatorship. Therefore, Massiel, who was on tour in Mexico, was brought in as a late replacement. In just two weeks, she had to rush back to Spain, learn the song, record it in several languages, travel to Paris to get a dress and go to London for rehearsals. She sang the song in the contest in Spanish with the new arrangement made to fit her. In her winning reprise, she performed part of her song in English, in addition to the original version, becoming the first winner to do so.
7.2.Vote rigging allegations. In May 2008, a documentary by Spanish film-maker Montse Fernández Villa, 1968. Yo viví el mayo español, centred on the effects of May 1968 in Francoist Spain, and alleged that the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest was rigged by the Spanish caudillo Francisco Franco, who would have sent state television officials across Europe offering cash and promising to buy television series and contract unknown artists. The allegation was based on a testimony by journalist José María Íñigo, a TVE employee at the time, who claimed the rigging was common knowledge and suggested that Spanish record label representatives offered to release albums by Bulgarian and Czech artists (neither Bulgaria nor Czechoslovakia were members of the European Broadcasting Union at the time, though in the 1968 contest, Austria was represented by Karel Gott, who was from Czechoslovakia.). The documentary claimed that the contest should in fact have been won by the United Kingdom’s entry – “Congratulations” performed by Cliff Richard – which finished second by one vote. Massiel, the performer of the winning entry, was outraged by the allegations, and claimed that if there had been fixes, “other singers, who were more keen on Francoist Spain, would have benefited”. José María Iñigo, author of the statement in the documentary, personally apologized to Massiel and said that he had repeated a widespread rumour. Both Massiel and Iñigo accused television channel La Sexta, broadcaster of the documentary, of manufacturing the scandal.
- Cliff Richard was internally selected to represent United Kingdom at Eurovision 1968. Richard performed all six songs on the show A Song for Europe 1968, and the public could vote via postcards. The result was announced one week later.
7.Trivial / Fun facts.
- Spain’s cleverly titled, La La La from 1968 contained no fewer than 138 la’s; The first Eurovision that was broadcast in color, was the 1968 contest at the Royal Albert Hall.
- The 1968 contest was not just broadcast in the participating countries. Eastern Europe and Tunisia could also watch.
- For Katie Boyle, it was already her third contest as a presenter, but not her last.
- Mrs. Boyle would return for yet another contest as would the unlucky Cliff Richard!
← Eurovision Song Contest 1967 • Eurovision Song Contest 1968 • Eurovision Song Contest 1969 →
Countries (in order of appearance)
|Final||Portugal ⦁ The Netherlands ⦁ Belgium ⦁ Austria ⦁ Luxembourg ⦁ Switzerland ⦁ Monaco ⦁ Sweden ⦁ Finland ⦁ France • Italy ⦁ United Kingdom ⦁ Norway ⦁ Ireland ⦁ Spain (winner) ⦁ Germany • Yugoslavia|
Artists (in order of appearance)
|Final||Carlos Mendes ⦁ Ronnie Tober ⦁ Claude Lombard ⦁ Karel Gott ⦁ Gianni Mascolo ⦁ Claes-Göran Hederström ⦁ Kristina Hautala ⦁ Isabelle Aubret • Sergio Endrigo ⦁ Cliff Richard ⦁ Odd Børre ⦁ Pat McGeegan ⦁ Massiel (winner) ⦁ Wencke Myrhe • Luci Capurso and Hamo Hajdarhodžić|
Songs (in order of appearance)
|Final||“Verão” ⦁ “Morgen” ⦁ “Quand tu reviendras” ⦁ “Tausend Fenster” ⦁ “Nous vivrons d’amour” ⦁ “Guardando il sole” ⦁ “À chacun sa chanson” ⦁ “Det börjar verka kärlek, banne mig” ⦁ “Kun kello käy” ⦁ “La source” • “Marianne” ⦁ “Congratulations” ⦁ “Stress” ⦁ “Chance of a Lifetime” ⦁ “La, la, la” (winner) ⦁ “Ein Hoch der Liebe” • “Jedan dan” (Један дан)|
|Non-participating entries: Norway: Odd Børre – “Jag Har Aldri Vært Så Glad I No’en Som Deg” ⦁ Spain: Joan Manuel Serrat – “La la la”|