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The Hague was once again the host city for the song contest after both Israel and the United Kingdom declined to stage the contest after Israel declined the opportunity to host the show twice in succession. As a result of these delays, the 1980 contest was hastily arranged and Dutch TV NOS had to re-use most of the stage from 1976, the last time they hosted the contest. NOS picked 19th April as the date for the song contest, but as this was the Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel, the defending champion decided not to participate which marked the only time when the winner of one Eurovision Song Contest did not participate in the next.
For the first time in the history of the song contest, an African country - Morocco - participated with Samira, a star in the Arabic world. When her entry Bitakat Hob ended up at 18th position with just 7 points altogether, Moroccan TV decided that the country should not participate in the contest again. Turkey returned to the contest after one year's absence and Monaco stayed home which meant that the total amount of participating countries amounted to 19 - just as in 1979. Each country brought along a presenter of its own choice to introduce the song in their native language.
Johnny Logan, who would later be called "Mr. Eurovision", secured Ireland's second victory. The Australian-born singer who only became an Irish citizen after he sang for Ireland in the 1980 contest, would later return and win the contest again in 1987. His 1980 victory brought him a number one hit in the UK and numerous television appearances across Europe. What's another year was awarded the maximum 12 points by seven countries, ending up with 143 points in total.