ESC DUBLIN 1981 (26ª)


  • Dates – Grand Final: Saturday, 04 April 1981 – 21:00 CEST
  • Host – Venue & Location: Simmonscourt Pavillion (Royal Dublin Society (RDS) Simmonscourt Ballsbridge, Cumann Ríoga Bhaile Átha Cliath), Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, 🇮🇪 Ireland
  • Presenter (s): Doireann Ní Bhríain
  • Musical Director: Noel Kelehan
  • Director: Ian McGarry
  • Executive Producer: Noel D Greene
  • Executive Supervisor: Frank Naef
  • Multicamera Director: Ian McGarry
  • Host broadcasterRaidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ)
  • Interval Act: “Timedance” performed by Planxty featuring dance performance by the ‘Dublin City Ballet’
  • Participants – Number of entries: 20 [🇧🇪 Belgium (23ª), 🇩🇪 Germany (23ª), 🇳🇱 The Netherlands (23ª), 🇨🇭 Switzerland (23ª), 🇬🇧 United Kindom (21ª), 🇪🇸 Spain (18ª), 🇮🇪 Ireland (14ª), 🇱🇺 Luxembourg (22ª), 🇫🇮 Finland (17ª), 🇳🇴 Norway (18ª), 🇵🇹 Portugal (14ª), 🇫🇷 France (23ª), 🇦🇹 Austria (19ª), 🇬🇷 Greece (5ª), 🇸🇪 Sweden (19ª), 🇩🇰 Denmark (14ª), 🇹🇷 Turkey (4ª), 🇮🇱 Israel (5ª),  Yugoslavia (16ª), 🇨🇾 Cyprus (1ª)]
  • Debuting countries: 🇨🇾 Cyprus (1ª)
  • Return: 🇮🇱 Israel (5ª),  Yugoslavia (16ª)
  • Non-returning countries:  Morocco (1ª), 🇮🇹 Italy (22ª)
  • Vote – Voting system: Each country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 point(s) to their 10 favourite songs.
  • Nil Points: 🇳🇴 Norway (3ª)
  • Winning song: 1f3c6 “Making Your Mind Up” – Bucks Fizz – 🇬🇧 Regno Unito (4ª)

Logo ESC 1981

AboutIreland’s capital Dublin hosted the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest after Johnny Logan won the contest in the preceding year with What’s Another Year. Bucks Fizz won the 1981 contest for the United Kingdom with the song “Making Your Mind Up”.

For the second time, the Eurovision champion winner, Ireland, was the host for the event which took place in Dublin. In 1981, the total amount of participating countries was 20 once again equalling the record set three years earlier in Paris. Morocco withdrew after their first participation, and Italy decided to stay at home as well because the interest in the country had diminished. Yugoslavia returned to the contest after five years of absence, so did Israel after the county had missed out on one contest. Finally, Cyprus made its Eurovision debut. It was also the first year Egypt’s television viewers could follow the contest live on television. The opening sequence of the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest showed ‘old Ireland’ blending into ‘modern Ireland’. The sequence ended with a map of Europe on a globe which span round to reveal the Eurovision logo.

About the winner. The United Kingdom’s entry, “Making Your Mind Up”, by the group Bucks Fizz won the 1981 contest after a close race with Germany’s entry, “Johnny Blue”, performed by Lena Valaitis. Bucks Fizz was formed especially for the Eurovision Song Contest and created one of the most memorable moments in Eurovision history when the two guys in the group ripped off the skirts of the two girls, revealing a shorter skirt underneath. Bucks Fizz continued their career all over Europe with many hit songs during the 1980s, like “The Land Of Make Believe” and “My Camera Never Lies”.

o/r  country  participant(s) song – translate – language Points  rank
01 🇦🇹 Austria ÖRF Marty Brem Wenn du da bist (When you’re there) German 020 17
02 🇹🇷 Turkey TRT Modern Folk Üçlüsü and Ayşegül Aldinç (Modern Folk Trio and Aysegül) Dönme dolap (The carousel) Turkish 009 18
03 🇩🇪 Germany ARD Lena Valaitis Johnny Blue German 132 02
04 🇱🇺 Luxembourg CLT Jean-Claude Pascal C’est peut-être pas l’Amérique (It may not be America) French 041 11
05 🇮🇱 Israel IBA Habibi Group (הכל עובר חביבי, Hakol Over Habibi) Halayla (הלילה, Tonight) Hebrew 056 07
06 🇩🇰 Denmark DR Tommy Seebach and Debbie Cameron Krøller eller ej (Curls or not) Danish 041 11
07  Yugoslavia JRT Seid-Memić “Vajta” (Сеид Мемић-Вајта) Lejla (Леила, Leila) Serbo-Croatian 035 15
08 🇫🇮 Finland YLE Riki Sorsa Reggae O.K. Finnish 027 16
09 🇫🇷 France TF1 Jean Gabilou Humanahum French 125 03
10 🇪🇸 Spain TVE Bacchelli Y sólo tú (And only you) Spanish 038 14
11 🇳🇱 The Netherlands NOS Linda Williams Het is een wonder (It’s a wonder) Dutch 051 09
12 🇮🇪 Ireland RTÉ Sheeba Horoscopes English 105 05
13 🇳🇴 Norway NRK Finn Kalvik Aldri i livet (Never in my life) Norwegian 000 20
14 🇬🇧 United Kindom BBC Bucks Fizz Making your mind up English 136 01
15 🇵🇹 Portugal RTP Carlos Paião Playback Portuguese 009 18
16 🇧🇪 Belgium BRT Emly Starr Samson Dutch 040 13
17 🇬🇷 Greece ERT Giannis Dimitras (Γιάννης Δημητράς) Feggari kalokerino (Φεγγάρι καλοκαιρινό, Summer moon) Greek 055 08
18 🇨🇾 Cyprus CyBC Island Monica (Μόνικα, Monica) Greek 069 06
19 🇨🇭 Switzerland SSR SRG Peter, Sue and Marc Io senza te (Me without you) Italian 121 04
20 🇸🇪 Sweden SVT Björn Skifs Fångad i en dröm (Captured in a dream) Swedish 050 20

Participation map
A coloured map of the countries of Europe

Transmitirá a 2º semifinal noutro horário. Participating countries Transmitirá a 1º semifinal em direto. Countries that participated in the past but not in 1981

ESC 1981 Scoreboard Ι Detailed voting results:

Scoreboard - Eurovision Song Contest 1981

The Eurovision Song Contest 1981 was the 26th edition of the annual Eurovision Song Contest. It took place in Dublin, Ireland, following Johnny Logan’s win at the 1980 contest in The Hague, Netherlands with the song “What’s Another Year”. The contest was held at the RDS Simmonscourt on 4 April 1981, and was hosted by Irish television journalist Doireann Ní Bhriain.

Twenty countries participated in the contest, equalling the record of the 1978 edition. Cyprus made their début this year, while Israel and Yugoslavia both returned to the competition, after their one-year and five-year absences, respectively. Morocco and Italy decided not to participate. Morocco has never since returned to participate in the Eurovision Song contest again, marking 1980 their only ever year of participation.

The winner was the United Kingdom with the song “Making Your Mind Up”, performed by Bucks Fizz, written by Andy Hill and John Danter. Germany finished second for the second consecutive year, while France finished third. Norway again finished last, with its third nul points in the contest.

Bucks Fizz’s win launched the group’s hugely successful international career. Their performance on the Eurovision stage included a dance-routine where the two male members ripped the skirts off the two female members only to reveal mini-skirts, and today stands as one of the most defining moments in the contest’s history.

RDS Simmonscourt – host venue of the 1981 contest.

1.Location. Having won in 1980, head of Irish broadcaster RTÉ, Brian MacLochlainn announced that they would host the contest in 1981 within hours of Johnny Logan winning. The 1981 contest took place in Dublin, the capital of Ireland. It was the second time the country (and city) had hosted the contest, the last time being ten years earlier in 1971.

2.Format. The contest took place under heavy guard at the 1,600 seat Simmonscourt Pavilion of the RDS, which was normally used for agricultural and horse shows. The set was the largest ever seen in the contest so far, being 150 feet across, 80 feet deep and 30 feet high. Over 250 armed soldiers and police were on hand to protect against any likely political demonstrations, with the UK entrants being under constant guard during their time in Dublin due to threats from the IRA. This included an evacuation of the participants hotel at one point due to a bomb scare. The security measures were reported on British news reports on the day of the contest.

Rehearsals at the Pavilion began on 31 March with each act allowed 30 minutes with the orchestra, continuing up until the day of the contest, which ended with a dress rehearsal at 16:30. On 1 April, the Irish Tourist Board held a reception for the contest at Jurys Hotel, Dublin.

The presenter on this occasion was Doireann Ni Bhriain, who was well known in Ireland at the time as a TV presenter and for the current affairs radio show Women Today. She was chosen for her fluency in Irish and English as well as having studied French and Spanish, which she spoke with some ease. She had also worked on the 1971 contest as an interpreter in the RTE press office. The director was Ian McGarry, while Noel Kelehan was the chief conductor of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, which comprised 46 musicians.

It cost RTÉ £530,000 to stage the show, although this included £110,000 from the EBU. From this, the Irish Government expected to make around £2,000,000 from tourism as a result of staging the show. It was expected that the worldwide audience would be some 500 million with 30 countries broadcasting the event, including countries such as Hong Kong, the Soviet Union, United Arab Emirates and for the first time, Egypt.

Each song was introduced by a filmed ‘postcard’, framed by an animated identification of the nation’s location; the first in the contest history to depict the various delegations in and around the host city, recorded during the week long rehearsal period. Unlike previous films used in 1970 and 1976 that had also featured the performing artist, the 1981 films prominently included the authors and composers alongside the performing artist.

2.1.Entrants. Of the performers, many previous contestants returned to the contest this year. Notably, Jean-Claude Pascal for Luxembourg, who had won the contest 20 years earlier, although could only manage 11th place this time. Repeated entrants Peter, Sue and Marc returned for the fourth time, after 1971, 1976 and 1979. Performing again for Switzerland, they remain the only act to sing in four different languages (French, English, German and this time, Italian). Other returnees were Marty Brem who had taken part the year before for Austria, Tommy Seebach for Denmark, and Björn Skifs for Sweden. Bucks Fizz member, Cheryl Baker had performed in 1978 with the band Co-Co for the UK, while Sheeba member Maxi had performed as a solo artist in 1973 for Ireland.

The 46-piece Irish TV orchestra didn’t have a saxophone as they didn’t consider it an orchestral instrument, which caused great concern with the United Kingdom entry as a saxophone appeared heavily on their song. Andy Hill – the producer of the single – said that had they known, they would have dropped one of the two backing singers to be replaced by a saxophonist, there being two on the actual recording.

2.2.Interval. The interval act was traditional Irish band Planxty, who performed the lengthy piece “Timedance”, which depicted Irish music through the ages. The dancers were from Dublin City Ballet with choreography by Iain Montague. This is seen as a precursor to Riverdance, which became famous after its performance in 1994. The song, which was written by Bill Whelan, went on to be released as a Planxty single and became a No.3 hit in the Irish charts. The interval (as well as the presentation sequences) had been rehearsed on set on the 3 April, the day before the event.

This mix of past and present was also the theme to the contest’s opening montage, which featured shots of Celtic ruins, cliffs and castles, edited together with close-ups of art, aeroplanes, architecture and horse races. This was also apparent in the style of music played by the orchestra.

2.3.Voting segment. The voting proved to be memorable for its closeness. France gained an early lead gaining maximum points from three of the first four juries. Ireland then started to take the lead during the first half, but fell away afterwards. The UK took the lead then until they gave top points to Switzerland, putting them in pole position. From then on it was a race between the UK, Switzerland and Germany, who had started to gain a lot of high marks. In all, five countries took pole position at various stages: UK, Germany, France, Switzerland and Ireland. Just before the penultimate vote, three countries (UK, Germany and Switzerland) were all on equal top marks. After this, Switzerland (who had performed second last) were unable to collect points as it was their jury’s results that were being announced, while Germany failed to receive votes either. The UK gained eight, which meant that when the final jury (Sweden) were about to cast their votes, the UK needed five points or more to win over either country. Switzerland were quickly eliminated by receiving just one vote. The UK passed the five-point mark and received eight votes, while Germany did indeed receive the maximum 12 points, but it was too late. France finished third, with Switzerland fourth and the hosts Ireland coming in fifth. Of these, Switzerland received the most top votes despite only finishing fourth, while the UK only received two. The UK did however receive points from every competing country. At a four-point victory, this was the closest win to date under the current voting structure. Meanwhile, at the other end of the board was Norway, who finished last with no points for the third time in Eurovision history, gaining no points in 1963 and 1978 as well.

Other memorable moments included a glitch in the scoreboard, giving host country Ireland 310 extra points instead of the 10 designated by the Luxembourg jury, Greece’s score registering on the scoreboard as incorrect, while on the final vote, Turkey’s nine points suddenly disappeared. EBU scrutineer for the contest, Frank Naef had to twice halt the voting process as mistakes were being made by the jurors spokespersons, one example is when he had to talk with the Austrian jury in Vienna, telling them they had to start giving their points starting from one, as they had started by giving 5 points to Germany. Host Doireann then repeated in French what Frank had said to the spokesperson, Jenny Pippal, who started from one point after that. Also of note was when the host attempted to collect Yugoslavia’s votes, after repeated attempts to contact them, Yugoslavia’s spokeswoman, Helga Vlahović (who went on to present the 1990 contest) finally answered the phone and abruptly answered “I don’t have it”, causing laughter to erupt from the audience.[a]

2.4.Aftermath. Runner-up Lena Valaitis was in good spirits while talking to the press following the contest and largely unconcerned about losing. Swedish singer Björn Skifs however was more outspoken saying; “This was not a song contest, it was a show – all these dancing girls, they take away from the songs. I also think there should be a change in the rules to allow us to sing in English. Then we would really be able to compete.” Harald Tusberg, head of light entertainment for Norwegian television was upbeat about Norway’s ‘nul points’ result as he claimed that their entry would be remembered above many others; “Who remembers who came second or third – people will remember us!”. Finn Kalvik himself conceded graciously saying that he had enjoyed the week’s holiday.

Following this year’s contest, France did not compete the following year, with the broadcaster announcing that the songs were “a monument to drivel”. Indeed, many comments had been made regarding the quality of the winning group’s performance indicating that the song had most likely won by style over substance. Either way, Bucks Fizz went on to have a very successful career over the next few years, and became one of the top-selling groups of the 1980s. The winning song itself reached No.1 in nine countries and became a top ten hit in nations such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, selling four million copies worldwide.

Germany, who had never won the contest at this point, were becoming increasingly frustrated with their second placings in this and the previous year’s contest and made a concerted effort for the following year. This was to pay off, as in 1982 they finally clinched their first victory which was achieved in an overwhelming manner.

The UK’s victory this year meant that the contest would take place in the UK the following year – the seventh time the country had hosted the event (a record unbeaten and later extended by an eighth UK hosting in 1998). The BBC opted to take it to the North Yorkshire town of Harrogate at a later than usual date, 24 April. The 1981 contest was held on 4 April and to date the contest has never been as early again.

Decades later, Debbie Cameron, who represented Denmark with Tommy Seebach, revealed in a book about Seebach that she was contacted by a BBC employee, who told her that Bucks Fizz’s victory was planned. According to the employee, he had witnessed how BBC technicians had sabotaged the sound checks during the rehearsal of the Danish, the Israeli and the German performances. This claim however ignores the fact that the BBC did not host the 1981 contest.

On August 22, 1981, the town of Mysen in Norway held a televised, live concert to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the contest, despite the recent 26th edition. The show Songs of Europe featured all but eight of the former winners of the contest, although one of the missing winning artists, Teddy Scholten, attended the event but did not perform.

3.Participating countries. By October 1980, it looked as though 21 countries were planning to take part, the largest number so far, but Monaco declared that they were no longer interested. This year marked the début of Cyprus in the contest, who finished sixth. Returning to the contest was Israel, who did not compete the previous year, despite winning the two years prior to that. They finished seventh. Yugoslavia also returned to the competition after a five-year absence. Italy decided not to enter due to lack of interest, while Morocco declined to take part after their debut entry the year before. The draw for the running order took place on 14 November 1980, with it being confirmed that there were a total of 20 entrants.

3.1.Conductors. Each performance had a conductor who directed the orchestra.

  • 🇦🇹 Austria – Richard Oesterreicher 
  • 🇹🇷 Turkey – Onno Tunç
  • 🇩🇪 Germany – Wolfgang Rödelberger
  • 🇱🇺 Luxembourg – Joël Rocher
  • 🇮🇱 Israel – Eldad Shrim 
  • 🇩🇰 Denmark – Allan Botschinsky
  •  Yugoslavia – Ranko Rihtman
  • 🇫🇮 Finland – Henrik Otto Donner
  • 🇫🇷 France – David Sprinfield
  • 🇪🇸 Spain – Joan Barcons
  • 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Rogier van Otterloo
  • 🇮🇪 Ireland – Noel Kelehan
  • 🇳🇴 Norway – Sigurd Jansen
  • 🇬🇧 United Kindom – John Coleman
  • 🇵🇹 Portugal – Shegundo Galarza
  • 🇧🇪 Belgium – Giuseppe Marchese
  • 🇬🇷 Greece – Yiorgos Niarchos
  • 🇨🇾 Cyprus – Michalis Rozakis 
  • 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Rolf Zuckowski
  • 🇸🇪 Sweden – Anders Berglund

3.2.Returning artists. 

Artist Country Previous year(s)
Jean-Claude Pascal 🇱🇺 Luxembourg 1961
Peter, Sue and Marc 🇨🇭 Switzerland 1971, 1976, 1979 (along with Pfuri, Gorps and Kniri)
Maxi (as part of Sheeba) 🇮🇪 Ireland 1973
Ismeta Dervoz (as backing singer)  Yugoslavia 1976 (as part of Ambasadori)
Björn Skifs 🇸🇪 Sweden 1978
Cheryl Baker (as part of Bucks Fizz) 🇬🇧 United Kindom 1978 (as part of Co-Co)
Tommy Seebach 🇩🇰 Denmark 1979
Debbie Cameron 🇩🇰 Denmark 1979 (as backing singer for Tommy Seebach)
Marty Brem 🇦🇹 Austria 1980 (part of Blue Danube)

3.3.Participants and results. 

3.4.All the national selections for Eurovision Song Contest 1981: 

• National Selections in 1981:

🇦🇹 Austria (Austrian Selection 1981) (song selection) [b] Marty Brem – “Wenn du da bist
🇧🇪 Belgium Eurosong 1981 Emly Starr – “Samson” / “Samson & Delilah”
🇩🇰 Denmark Melodi Grand Prix 1981 Debbie Cameron & Tommy Seebach – “Krøller eller ej
🇫🇮 Finland (Finnish Selection 1981) Riki Sorsa – “Reggae OK”
🇫🇷 France Concours de la Chanson Française Jean Gabilou – “Humanahum”
🇩🇪 Germany Ein Lied für Dublin Lena Valaitis – “Johnny Blue”
🇮🇪 Ireland National Song Contest 1981 Sheeba – “Horoscopes”
🇮🇱 Israel Kdam Eurovision 1981 Hakol Over Habibi – “Halayla” (הלילה)
🇳🇱 The Netherlands Nationaal Songfestival 1981 Linda Williams – “Het is een wonder
🇳🇴 Norway Melodi Grand Prix 1981 Finn Kalvik – “Aldri i livet
🇵🇹 Portugal Festival da Canção 1981 Carlos Paião – “Play-back”
🇸🇪 Sweden Melodifestival 1981 Björn Skifs – “Fångad i en dröm
🇨🇭 Switzerland Concours Eurovision 1981 Peter, Sue & Marc – “Io senza te
🇹🇷 Turkey Şarkı Yarışması 1981 Modern Folk Trio and Ayşegül – “Dönme Dolap
🇬🇧 United Kindom A Song for Europe 1981 Bucks Fizz – “Making Your Mind Up”
 Yugoslavia Jugovizija 1981 Seid Memić Vajta – “Lejla” (Лејла)

• Internal Selections in 1981: 

🇨🇾 Cyprus Island – “Monika” (Μόνικα)
🇬🇷 Greece Yiannis Dimitras – “Feggari kalokerino” (Φεγγάρι καλοκαιρινό)
🇱🇺 Luxembourg Jean-Claude Pascal – “C’est peut-être pas l’Amérique
🇪🇸 Spain Bacchelli – “Y sólo tú


4.Voting. Each country had a jury who awarded 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 point(s) for their top ten songs.

Voting results
Total score
Austria Turcia Germania Luxemburg Israel Danemarca Iugoslavia Finlanda Franța Spania Țările de Jos Irlanda Norvegia Regatul Unit Portugalia Belgia Grecia Cipru Elveția Suedia
🇦🇹 Austria 20 6 1 5 6 2
🇹🇷 Turkey 9 1 3 5
🇩🇪 Germany 132 5 12 3 8 8 2 7 8 12 3 6 4 7 12 10 5 8 12
🇱🇺 Luxembourg 41 10 5 3 4 3 1 4 6 5
🇮🇱 Israel 56 8 4 6 7 7 8 4 5 4 3
🇩🇰 Denmark 41 1 1 7 4 3 2 5 2 12 4
 Yugoslavia 35 4 8 2 1 5 2 3 10
🇫🇮 Finland 27 2 1 2 5 5 1 5 6
🇫🇷 France 125 12 12 12 7 2 4 10 6 4 5 1 10 3 8 7 12 10
🇪🇸 Spain 38 10 6 4 3 10 3 2
🇳🇱 The Netherlands 51 3 5 3 4 7 2 7 6 7 2 3 2
🇮🇪 Ireland 105 7 3 6 10 10 12 5 6 5 10 1 10 12 1 7
🇳🇴 Norway 0
🇬🇧 United Kindom 136 4 8 4 5 12 10 10 3 7 8 12 10 3 6 8 6 4 8 8
🇵🇹 Portugal 9 8 1
🇧🇪 Belgium 40 1 7 1 6 8 2 3 7 5
🇬🇷 Greece 55 6 2 6 1 10 1 2 8 6 6 7
🇨🇾 Cyprus 69 5 3 6 8 8 7 10 7 12 3
🇨🇭 Switzerland 121 2 2 7 8 4 12 12 10 4 1 12 12 12 8 4 10 1
🇸🇪 Sweden 50 10 2 5 7 1 12 6 2 4 1

4.1.12 points. Below is a summary of all 12 points in the final:

N. Contestant Nation(s) giving 12 points
5 🇨🇭 Switzerland 🇫🇮 Finland, 🇮🇪 Ireland, 🇳🇴 Norway, 🇬🇧 United Kindom Yugoslavia
4 🇫🇷 France 🇦🇹 Austria, 🇩🇪 Germany, 🇱🇺 Luxembourg, 🇨🇭 Switzerland
🇩🇪 Germany 🇵🇹 Portugal, 🇪🇸 Spain, 🇸🇪 Sweden, 🇹🇷 Turkey
2 🇮🇪 Ireland 🇨🇾 Cyprus, 🇩🇰 Denmark
🇬🇧 United Kindom 🇳🇱 The Netherlands, 🇮🇱 Israel
1 🇨🇾 Cyprus 🇬🇷 Greece
🇩🇰 Denmark 🇧🇪 Belgium
🇸🇪 Sweden 🇫🇷 France

4.2.Spokespersons. Listed below is the order in which votes were cast during the 1981 contest along with the spokesperson who was responsible for announcing the votes for their respective country.

  1. 🇦🇹 Austria – Jenny Pippal 
  2. 🇹🇷 Turkey – Başak Doğru
  3. 🇩🇪 Germany – TBC
  4. 🇱🇺 Luxembourg – Jacques Harvey
  5. 🇮🇱 Israel – Dan Kaner 
  6. 🇩🇰 Denmark – Bent Henius 
  7.  Yugoslavia – Helga Vlahović
  8. 🇫🇮 Finland – Annemi Genetz
  9. 🇫🇷 France – Denise Fabre
  10. 🇪🇸 Spain – Isabel Tenaille 
  11. 🇳🇱 The Netherlands – Flip van der Schalie
  12. 🇮🇪 Ireland – John Skehan
  13. 🇳🇴 Norway – Sverre Christophersen 
  14. 🇬🇧 United Kindom – Colin Berry
  15. 🇵🇹 Portugal – Margarida Andrade
  16. 🇧🇪 Belgium – Walter De Meyere
  17. 🇬🇷 Greece – Tatiana Darra
  18. 🇨🇾 Cyprus – Anna Partelidou
  19. 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Michel Stocker
  20. 🇸🇪 Sweden – Bengteric Nordell

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 FS2 Ernst Grissemann 
Hitradio Ö3 Walter Richard Langer 
🇧🇪 Belgium BRT TV1 Dutch: Luc Appermont
RTBF1 French: Jacques Mercier
BRT Radio 1 Dutch: Herwig Haes
RTBF La Première French: Marc Danval
🇨🇾 Cyprus RIK Fryni Papadopoulou
RIK Deftero Neophytos Taliotis
🇩🇰 Denmark DR TV Jørgen de Mylius
DR P3 Erik Wiedemann 
🇫🇮 Finland YLE TV1 Ossi Runne
YLE Rinnakkaisohjelma Matti Paalosmaa and Jaakko Salonoja 
🇫🇷 France TF1 Patrick Sabatier
🇩🇪 Germany Deutsches Fernsehen Ado Schlier 
Deutschlandfunk/hr3 Roger Horné 
🇬🇷 Greece ERT Mako Georgiadou 
Proto Programma Dimitris Konstantaras 
🇮🇪 Ireland RTÉ 1 Larry Gogan
RTÉ Radio 1 Pat Kenny
🇮🇱 Israel Israeli Television No commentator
Reshet Gimel Daniel Pe’er
🇱🇺 Luxembourg RTL Télé Luxembourg Marylène Bergmann and Jacques Navadic
RTL André Torrent 
🇳🇱 The Netherlands Nederland 1 Pim Jacobs
🇳🇴 Norway NRK Knut Aunbu
NRK P1 Erik Heyerdahl 
🇵🇹 Portugal RTP1 Eládio Clímaco
🇪🇸 Spain TVE1 Miguel de los Santos 
🇸🇪 Sweden SVT TV1 Ulf Elfving
🇨🇭 Switzerland TV DRS German: Theodor Haller 
TSR French: Georges Hardy 
TSI Italian: Giovanni Bertini
🇹🇷 Turkey Ankara Television Bülend Özveren
Radyo 3 Şebnem Savaşçı
🇬🇧 United Kindom BBC1 Terry Wogan
BBC Radio 2 Ray Moore
 Yugoslavia TVB 2 Serbo-Croatian: Mladen Popović
TVZ 1 Serbo-Croatian: Oliver Mlakar
TVL 1 Slovene: Tomaž Terček
Broadcasters and commentators in non-participating countries
Country Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s)
SBS Radio Unknown
BNT Unknown
ČST Unknown
 Egypt ERTU Unknown
 Hong Kong TVB Pearl (delayed broadcast on 7 April 1981) Unknown
🇭🇺 Hungary MTV Unknown
🇮🇸 Iceland Sjónvarpið Unknown
🇵🇱 Poland TVP Unknown
🇷🇴 Romania TVR Unknown
 Soviet Union Soviet Central Television Unknown
 South Korea KBS Unknown
 United Arab Emirates Dubai Radio and Colour Television Unknown


  • [a] The clip was subsequently used on the ITV outtake series It’ll Be Alright on the Night.
  • [b] Marty Brem was internally selected to represent Austria at Eurovision 1981. The song “Wenn Du Da Bist” that Marty would perform at Eurovision was selected through a national final with three songs.

7.Trivial / Fun facts.

  • It was the first year Egypt’s television viewers could follow the contest live on television.
  • Swiss participants Peter, Sue & Marc participated for the fourth time and for the fourth time in a different language.

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Countries (in order of appearance)

Final Austria ⦁ Turkey ⦁ Germany ⦁ Luxembourg ⦁ Israel ⦁ Denmark ⦁ Yugoslavia ⦁ Finland ⦁ France ⦁ Spain • The Netherlands ⦁ Ireland ⦁ Norway ⦁ United Kingdom (winner) • Portugal • Belgium ⦁ Greece • Cyprus • Switzerland • Sweden

Artists (in order of appearance)

Final Marty Brem ⦁ Modern Folk Trio and Ayşegül ⦁ Lena Valaitis ⦁ Jean-Claude Pascal ⦁ Habibi ⦁ Debbie Cameron and Tommy Seebach ⦁ Seid Memić Vajta ⦁ Riki Sorsa ⦁ Jean Gabilou ⦁ Bacchelli ⦁ Linda Williams • Sheeba ⦁ Finn Kalvik ⦁ Bucks Fizz (winner) ⦁ Carlos Paião • Emly Starr ⦁ Yiannis Dimitras ⦁ Island • Peter, Sue and Marc ⦁ Björn Skifs

Songs (in order of appearance)

Final Wenn du da bist” ⦁ “Dönme Dolap” ⦁ “Johnny Blue” ⦁ “C’est peut-être pas l’Amérique” ⦁ “Halayla” (הלילה) ⦁ “Krøller eller ej” ⦁ “Lejla” (Лејла) ⦁ “Reggae OK” ⦁ “Humanahum” ⦁ “Y sólo tú” ⦁ “Het is een wonder” • “Horoscopes” ⦁ “Aldri i livet” ⦁ “Making Your Mind Up” (winner) ⦁ “Playback” • “Samson”  ⦁ “Feggari kalokerino” (Φεγγάρι καλοκαιρινό) • “Monika” (Μόνικα) • “Io senza te” • “Fångad i en dröm