Franco robbed Sir Cliff of Eurovision win
Spanish dictator's 1968 vote-rigging outrage
Of all the crimes perpetrated by the late and largely unlamented Franco - dictator of Spain during more years than most locals care to remember - perhaps the most heinous is the fascist regime's fixing of the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest which saw the sainted Cliff Richard's Congratulations pipped at the post by Hispanic musical outrage La La La.
That's according to a Spanish TV documentary which aired last night, in which director Fernandez Vila claimed corrupt Spanish television execs promised to buy series from other countries if their voting went in singer Massiel's favour.
As the older readers among you will recall, the 1968 clash of melodies was a real nail-biter, with Sir Cliff's early lead slashed by a late flurry of pro-Spain voting. In the end, Congratulations lost by just one point.
In case you're wondering just why Franco would go to such lengths to secure the Eurovision crown, he apparently thought the title would enhance Spain's international reputation - a cunning plan foiled by the subsequent worldwide chart success of Congratulations and the consignment of La La La to the dustbin of history.
And just in case the shock dictatorial vote-rigging exposé hasn't sufficiently tarnished Spain's international reputation, the country's entry for Eurovision 2008 should do the trick once and for all. ®
What I would like to know is....
Which countries were bribed, and were their television series eventually bought?
A propos, we might slag off good off Espana, but remember what we did to the Pistols' "God Save the Queen" to keep them off numero uno.
You mean this wasn't public knowledge?
I met some old hands from the BBC back in the late 70's who had worked on that year's contest, and it wasn't just the judges they were bribing. Even some of the BBC staff were offered free holidays, apparently. Funny thing is, the BBC had to ship two studio's worth of TV equipment down to Spain for the following year's show as RTVE was still running black and white at the time. They built two studios right at the back of the lot at Prado del Rey, and when I worked in one of them in 1987, they were only just getting round to replacing the original equipment.
The current contest still does the same job of bring state of the art production (but not necessarily quality...) to many countries that have little or no large scale live event experience.
Chip on (Irish) shoulder, much? ;¬)
As someone who considers himself Scots and much of whose family is Irish (I can hold dual nationality, in fact, should I wish), I have to say I got a laugh out of that bullshit you posted.
For the record, my experience is that many Scots and Irish are hugely bigotted individuals with massive chips on their shoulders and incredible ignorance of the rest of the world or even their own countries. Some English can be a bit much but they usually manage it in a basically goodnatured "We're all English really, aren't we?" kind of way.
Oh, just in case you're wondering, I'm SNP and my Irish family were/are SF and FF, so the "Self-hating" or "Unionist" slurs won't stick ;¬)