World of Chig   

UK50 starts here. Vote now on Group Alsou!

Before we start, I'd like to say a huge thank you to David, formerly of Swish Cottage, who designed this fantastic logo for our UK50 project when I put out an appeal for someone with an artistic bent. He designed quite a few options, but we have gone with this one because it's simple and the 50 is gold, as befitting a fiftieth anniversary, because this year is also the 50th anniversary of the UK entering Eurovision. (The year we missed, 1958, means that the 50th entry and the 50th anniversary actually coincide.) Thank you David, it looks great. Now then, let's get started.

(Pause for dramatic effect. Dry ice hisses from the wings.)

The voting has closed. The votes have been counted and verified. We’re about to start a seemingly endless quest to find the world’s favourite songs from the UK’s fifty Eurovision entries, voted for by you, the public. We’ve just had a public vote to choose which selection of songs we vote on first. The options were the first UK entries (from 1957, 1959 and 1960), the separate but collected works of Cliff Richard and his old bandmates The Shadows and the young whippersnappers of 2002 to 2005, whose names all begin with J.

I can now reveal that the first selection of songs to be voted on in UK50 is...

(Spooky drum roll.)

(Camera pans across the faces of all thirteen performers.)

(Camera pans back to Cliff Richard to show he’s in it twice.)

Medley A!!!

(Glitter bomb explodes at Chig Mansions. Audience screams deliriously.)

Yes, the oldies have won! Patricia, Bryan, Pearl and Teddy, well done. With two thirds of the public vote, you are the clear winners. If you could just go and get ready to sing, we’ll hear from you in a few moments.

Cliff, Hank, Bruce and the other one, hard luck. Hardly anyone cares about you, but we’ll have you back another day. If you could leave the stage please. Cliff, I said leave the stage please. Thank you. Without the microphone. Cheers.

James, let me just squeeze myself in there beside you. Ooh, thank you James. Don’t you look handsome close up?! Er, where was I? Yes, Jessica, James and Javine. You all remember not winning public votes from those shows you were on before, so I guess this feels familiar. Go away for now and take those two Scousers with you. We’ll see you in the next few days.

So, the oldies have it. The three wrinkliest acts are about to come on stage and sing for your vote, introduced by our special guest star. We’ll be having one every day and we’ll see how quickly people cotton on to the reasons for choosing them. Some of them don’t even have a new album out!

Here we go then. Let UK50 commence! Please welcome onto the stage...Russia's entrant from Eurovision 2000...Alsou!

“Zdravstvujtye! Dobryi vyecher! I very pleased to be here to introduce first voting. My uncle pay very much money to Mr Chig for me have zis priviledge. I bring my boys again. You like, yes? Will and David, say hello to the people, you big girls’ blouses. Oh, how we laugh when your Mr Wogan call dem zis!

So, it time for me introduce first songs, yes? First Patricia Bredin, which is a bit boring, I think, yes? I not surprised United Kingdom not enter again in next year. Next one much better, even though it a little bit crazy, yes? Silly song about birdie. And finally Bryan Johnson with another silly song. Why all United Kingdom men called Johnson? What he looking for high, high, high, low, low, low? Silly man. No boys, there no disco songs.”

Thank you Alsou. Thank you Will and David. You can put your tops back on now.

There you have it. Today’s songs were the UK’s first three entries into Eurovision. The BBC missed the first contest, entered in the second, didn’t win, pulled out of the third, came back for the fourth and has been in every one since.

1957 All – Patricia Bredin (7th)
1959 Sing Little Birdie – Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson (2nd)
1960 Looking High, High, High – Bryan Johnson (2nd)

Download Chig’s specially edited medley of bits from all three songs here, or watch all three performances on the YouTube links below. Then please cast your votes in the comments box below, like this:

12 points – your favourite
6 points – your second favourite
0 (Nul points) – your least favourite

Feel free to add your comments or memories of the songs too. Voting will remain open until the first round is over (which is 16 groups of songs, so you have a while). We’ll be back with another special guest to introduce Group B in a day or two. The sound quality will get better than these old tunes, as will some of the music. (Patricia Bredin’s song was never recorded in a studio, so the clip on the MP3 is taken from the TV broadcast.) Some of the musical quality will get a lot worse though. You have been warned.

Thank you, merci, danke.

UK 1957 - All - Patricia Bredin:

UK 1959 - Sing Little Birdie - Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson:

UK 1960 - Looking High, High, High - Bryan Johnson:

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