Just hours ahead of the Grand Final of the 60th Eurovision Song Contest the European Broadcasting Union is proud to have been awarded a GUINNESS WORLD RECORD for Longest Running Annual TV Music Competition!
An adjudicator from the global authority in record-breaking achievement was in Vienna, Austria to present EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre and Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand with the award on the day of the 2015 Grand Final which will be seen by nearly 200 million people in 45 countries tonight, 23rd of May.
“We are thrilled to be presented with this award on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest,” said EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre. “This unique television show has been bringing Europeans together for six decades. While other music television formats have been and gone the Song Contest has endured and in its 60th year has never been more popular.”
The idea for the Eurovision Song Contest came from the EBU’s Marcel Bezençon and plans were made for the first “Eurovision Grand Prix” at a meeting in Monaco in 1955. The first Contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland in May 1956. The show has been staged annually since then and in the last 60 years has visited 40 cities in 25 countries. 52 countries in total have now taken part including for the first time in 2015, Australia.
Guinness World Records adjudicator, Eva Norroy, said: ‘Eurovision’s achievement was brought to our attention as they were celebrating their anniversary and, when we started to investigate, we realised there is nothing quite like it around the world. Guinness World Records are also celebrating their 60th anniversary this year so both organisations have a lot to celebrate in 2015.”
Jon Ola Sand, Executive Supervisor for the European Broadcasting Union said: "After 60 years, the Eurovision Song Contest is stronger than ever. We are proud of this title, which is a strong recognition for those who've kept the contest going strong over the past decades and encouraging for the many talented people who will contribute in the many decades to come."Gallery: Eurovision Song Contest awarded Guinness world record
Other Eurovision related world records include:
Most successful Eurovision country
Ireland were unfortunately knocked out at the semi-final stage of this year's competition but can still take heart from being the nation to have won the competition the most, having been victorious on seven occasions. Their first win came in 1970 with Dana singing All Kinds Of Everything and most recently, Eimear Quinn came first in 1996 performing The Voice.
Least successful Eurovision country
Norway has the dubious honour of being the least successful Eurovision country of all time - having finished last 11 times and scoring 'nil points' on four separate occasions.
Oldest male Eurovision Song Contest entrant
Back in 2012, the UK's hopes were pinned on veteran singer Engelbert Humperdinck.
At the age of 76 years 24 days, Humperdinck, who is most fondly remembered for his million-selling 1967 single Release Me, set a record for being the oldest male Eurovision Song Contest entrant.
Sadly for Engelbert, his song Love Will Set You Free finished someway off the pace from that year's winner Sweden's Loreen and her track Euphoria.
Oldest Eurovision contest winner
Representing Denmark in 2000, The Olsen Brothers (Jørgen and Niels), who won with 195 points the Eurovision Song Contest singing Fly On The Wings Of Love, at the age of 49 and 45 respectively.
Highest paid dancer
The contest's interval which takes place while votes from around the nations are deliberated and counted, has become something of a platform for new talent from different performing arts. Undoubtedly the act to make the biggest impact during the break in the competition was traditional Irish music and dance performance Riverdance back in 1994.
Led by dancer, Michael Flatley, the 7-minute performance received a standing ovation at the Point Theatre, Dublin and went on to become an international phenomenon.
Following its success, Flatley went on to set a record as the world's highest paid dancer earning $1.6 million (£1 million) a week for his show Lord of the Dance at the peak of the show's success
Most points scored at Eurovision
Alexander Rybak’s song Fairytale for Norway amassed 387 points in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow, Russia.
Largest gathering of ABBA impersonators
The Eurovision Song Contest provided a launch pad for Abba , one of the most commercially successful pop groups of all time, after they won the 1974 event by a narrow 6 point margin with the classic Waterloo. The largest gathering of ABBA impersonators is 368 individuals, or 92 bands, and took place at Kew Primary School in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in celebration of Guinness World Records Day back in November 2011.
Highest annual earnings ever for a female pop star
Another huge act that had their career kickstarted by Eurovision was Celine Dion. Sing for Switzerland, the then shy 20-year-old blew the roof off the Royal Dublin Society venue in Dublin back in 1988 with the song Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi ("Don't Leave Without Me"). Celine went on to set a record for highest annual earnings ever for a female pop star after making an estimated $56 million (£33.5 million) back in 1998, a record subsequently beaten by Madonna in 2013 who made $125 million (£82 million) for that year.
With thanks to Dave Goodman for the making of this article