Eurovision Song Contest

Filmed: Saturday 6 April 1974

Location: The Dome, Brighton, West Sussex, England

Broadcast: Saturday 6 April 1974 (see below for more info)

Release status: See below

Shown in: Europe

Additional information

The event that changed everything for ABBA. There were two performances of Waterloo - the first performance and then the winning performance at the end. Both were sung with live vocals over playback.

ABBA were the 8th act to perform. Olivia Newton-John was on 2nd for UK; Mouth and McNeal were the biggest threat. Prior to each country's performance, a mini-film was shown firstly of some scenes from that country followed by the performers in and around Brighton. ABBA were shown posing together and then one by one appearing from behind a plant.  Björn would go on to lend his pink jacket to Benny for The Tommy Cooper Hour later in the year.

The programme was hosted by Katie Boyle. ABBA's orchestra conductor was Sven-Olof Walldoff who came on dressed as Napoleon. Sven-Olof Walldoff died on 7 June 2011. Katie Boyle died 20 March 2018.

The intermission was a film of The Wombles messing about in Brighton to Remember You're A Womble!  Mike Batt dressed as Orinoco Womble came on stage after the film was shown carrying a sign which said 'Vote for the Wombles!'.

During the scoring, ABBA are seen twice in the "green room" watching the points coming in. ABBA won with 24 points. The UK did not give Sweden any points!

Björn was famously refused permission to collect a writer's prize for the winning song and you see a bemused Stig looking awkward while Benny tries to explain to someone that Björn is also a composer of the song. Notice the way Benny always touches his hair when he's flustered!

Stig's speech was "Thank you" in as many languages as he could think of! Stig and Benny were presented their winners medals by Sir Charles Curran, Director General of the BBC and President of the EBU.

The UK show was commentated by David Vine (not Terry Wogan who did the radio commentary that year). David Vine got Benny and Björn mixed up when announcing the line-up. David Vine died on 11 January 2009.

Programme was produced by Michael Hurll who died in September 2012.

It's easy to tell the difference between the two performances - the first one has Frida and Agnetha running onto to the stage from the back, whereas the winning performance has them already in positions having been announced as the winners.  The winning performance is also a lot more lively.

Broadcast info:
21:50-23:30 (20:50-22:30 in the UK) LIVE to Europe although NOT LIVE to France (because their President (Georges Pompidou) was buried on the day of the contest. Because of that, the French entry was withdrawn and France didn't participate in the contest). France did get the competition broadcast - they had footage in B/W and a shortened broadcast on 9 April 1974 and again on Eurovision Top A on 8 June 1974 (only the ABBA Waterloo excerpt). There was no Katie Boyle commentary, but a French voiceover.

The first performance has been officially released on ABBA - The Video Biography 1974-1982 on video and VCD and on the 30th Anniversary Edition of ABBA's Waterloo album.
ABBA can also be seen on the CMC Entertainment's 2 DVD set, The Very Best of the Eurovision Song Contest on disc 1 - 1956-1980.

Lyrics available on the Official ABBA site



BBC (UK) info:

Caption: Katie BOYLE intros Eurovision Song Contest 1974 from The Dome, Brighton with commentary by David VINE. Contest won by Swedish entry Abba with 'Waterloo'. sp s ob, film inserts, stills, ex lib NB:TAPE RUNS OUT AS SCORING BEGINS
Guid: LLV1341F
Transmission date: 06 Apr 1974
Clip #: BBC_LLV1341F
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BBC Broadcast Archive
BBC Broadcast Archive
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Subject: Arts, Culture and Entertainment
Keywords: Dome, Music, Contest, Arts Culture and Entertainment, Eurovision Song Contest. Find similar clips
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Katie BOYLE intros Eurovision Song Contest 1974 from The Dome, Brighton with commentary by David VINE. Contest won by Swedish entry Abba with 'Waterloo'. sp s ob, film inserts, stills, ex lib NB:TAPE RUNS OUT AS SCORING BEGINS
ARTISTS: CARITA 'Aelae Mene Pois/Keep Me Warm' (Finland) & SONGS Olivia NEWTON JOHN w The Ladybirds 'Long Live Love' (United Kingdom) PERET (Pedro PUBILL CALLAF) 'Canta Y Se Feliz' (Spain) Anne Karine STROM & The Bendik Singers 'The First Day Of Love' (Norway) MARINELLA 'Krassi, Thalassa Ke T'Agori Mou' (Greece) Poogy 'Natati La Khaiai' (Israel) Korni Group 'Generacija 42' (Yugoslavia) Abba 'Waterloo' (Sweden) **Winner** Ireen SHEER 'Bye Bye I Love You' (Luxembourg)
ARTISTS: ROMAULD 'Celui Qui Reste Et Celui Qui S'En Va' (Monaco) & SONGS Jacques HUSTIN 'Fleur De Liberte' (Belgium) Mouth & MacNeal 'I See A Star' (Netherlands) Tina REYNOLDS 'Cross Your Heart' (Ireland) Cindy & Bert 'Die Sommermelodie' (Germany) Piera MARTELL 'Mein Ruf Nach Dir' (Switzerland) Paulo DE CARVALHO 'E Depois Do Adeus' (Portugal) Gigliola CINQUETTI 'Si' (Italy) FILM SEQ: Wombles dance in & around Brighton to 'The Wombling Song' & 'Remember You're A Womble' (3m38s) Orinoco walks on stage with 'Vote for the Wombles' placard & gives Katie a rose.
BBC Item Type: Programme
BBC SubCatalogue: LONPROG

Thanks to Dori Plait, David Schrubba, Richard Knight, Markus, Jozsef, Ian Cole and Sam Shervz
YouTube links c/o mozpiano2 and thorsven2011

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