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52 years ago today - BBC staged their first contest

29 March 2012 at 10:00 CEST

After Teddy Scholten had given The Netherlands their second victory, with the song Een Beetje in 1959, the Dutch broadcaster NTS declined the opportunity to host the contest for what would have been the second time within three years.

The British broadcaster, the BBC had been the runner up in the 1959 contest, and they stepped forward to stage the 1960 event. It would turn out to be the first of eight contests to date that the BBC would be the host broadcaster.

The show was held on Tuesday 29th March in the Royal Festival Hall in London and was presented by Katie Boyle, the first of four contests that she performed this role.

1960 Facts & Figures 

  • The draw for the running order took place on Monday the 28th of March.
  • Rehearsals took place on Monday the 28th March and Tuesday 29th March.
  • A new record of 13 countries participated.
  • Norway made their debut with Nora Brockstedt and finished in a respectable fourth place.
  • In contrast Luxembourg returned to the contest after a one year break, only to finish in last place with just one vote.
  • The audience in the Royal Festival Hall was around 2,500.
  • The contest was broadcast in 14 countries (all the participating nations, plus Finland) and was watched by around 30 million viewers.
  • For the second time France won the competition with the song Tom Pillibi, sung by Jacqueline Boyer.

Watch the 1960 winner

About the winner - Jacqueline Boyer

She was born Jacqueline Ducos on the 23rd April, 1941 in Paris. Her parents were the singers, Jacques Pils and Lucienne Boyer. Jacques Pils had also participated in the contest, though with less success than his daughter, when he came last in the 1959 event for Monaco with the song Mon Ami Pierrot.

As well as being a singer, Jacqueline Boyer also established herself as an actress and appeared in several films. She enjoyed a successful career in Germany as well as her native France, and has peformed at many top venues, and is still recording and releasing albums. 

Full statistics including details of the performers, song titles and the full scoreboard can be found here in the 1960 history pages.