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23 years ago today - Céline Dion wins for Switzerland

30 April 2011 at 16:01 CEST

Johnny Logan won the 1987 contest with Hold Me Now, which meant that Dublin had the honour of staging Europe's Favourite TV Show in 1988.

Pat Kenny & Michelle Rocca hosted the show from the Simmonscourt Pavillion, in the Royal Dublin Society. 21 countries participated in 1988. Irish band the Hothouse Flowers performed in the interval act and went on to score a hit with Don't Go afterwards.

1988 Facts & Figures

  • The result in 1988 was only decided on the very last vote, Scott Fitzgerald of the United Kingdom had 136 points to Céline  Dion's 131 before the Yugoslav jury voted. They awarded Switzerland 6 points and the United Kingdom zero, meaning Céline  won by a solitary point.
  • Cyprus had selected an entry, but had to pull out of the contest when it was established that the song had already been released, thus breaking entry regulations.
  • Lara Fabian represented Luxembourg in 1988, finishing in 4th place with Croire, Lara went on to enjoy a big career in French speaking nations across the world.
  • Hot Eyes made it a hat trick of appearances for Denmark after taking part in 1984 and 1985, and scored their best result to date, 3rd place with Ka' Du Se Hva' Jeg Sa'
  • Austria scored the dreaded nul points, not a single country voted for Wilfried's Lisa Mona Lisa.
  • After being part of Chocolat Menta Mastik in 1976, and presenting the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest in Jerusalem, Yardena Arazi was the Israeli representative in 1988. She finished 7th with Ben Adam.

The wolrd witnesses a megastar in the making

Aside from Abba, Céline Dion is arguably the biggest household name worldwide to have competed in Europe's Favourite TV Show.

For Céline Dion, winning the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest was the starting point of her worldwide career. She had only been known in Canada and France before 1988, Europe's Favourite TV Show gave her the opportunity to record songs which would sell millions of copies all around the world.

During the early 1990's she broke through in the major charts around the globe and scored multiple number one hits. In 1999, at the height of her success, she announced a hiatus from entertainment in order to start a family and spend time with her husband, who had been diagnosed with cancer. She returned to the top of pop music in 2002 and signed a three year (later extended to almost five years) contract to perform nightly in a five star theatrical show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

For full details of the competing artists and songs, together with the full scoreboard check out our 1988 history page.