Electro Velvet / Credit: BBC
Electro Velvet / Credit: BBC
  1. The Eurovision Song Contest was originally intended to be a classical music contest, which is ironic given how synonymous it has become with cheesy pop tunes.
  2. The UK has won the contest five times, finished in second place fifteen times and placed last three times. The last time we won was 1997. Winners include Sandy Shaw with 'Puppet On A String' in 1976, Lulu with 'Boom Bang-a-Bang in 1969, Brotherhood of Man with 'Save Your Kisses For Me' in 1976, Bucks Fizz with 'Making Your Mind Up' in 1981 and Katrina and The Waves with 'Love Shine A Light' in 1997.
  3. When UK act Bucks Fizz won the contest in 1981 - shocking viewers with their Velcro rip away skirts - Velcro sold out across the country within 48 hours of the performance.
  4. Every year around 190 million viewers watch the Eurovision Song Contest - to put this in context, the 2011 Royal Wedding pulled a comparably low 24.5 million viewers, whilst the 1966 World Cup Final drew 32.3 million.
  5. ABBA is the most successful Eurovision Song Contest winner ever. The Swedish pop band won the contest in 1974 and has enjoyed phenomenal success ever since.
  6. Dana International caused controversy when she became the first transgender winner - scooping the top prize for Israel in 1998. Last year Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst created similar waves taking the 2014 crown.
  7. Despite being located on the other side of the world, Australia will take part in Eurovision for the first time this year. Its inclusion is intended to be a one-off, to celebrate the 60th contest and linking with this year's theme of Building Bridges. The contest has had a dedicated cult following in Australia for many years. They will be represented by former Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian.
  8. Shoppers can get into the Eurovision spirit whilst making their mind up on groceries over the weekend, as supermarket Morrisons has revealed it will be playing more than 50 Eurovision classics from the past 60 years over its tannoys this Friday and Saturday.
  9. In 1974 the United Kingdom gave nul points to ABBA, yet the group went on to secure a whopping nine UK number one singles and four number one albums.
  10. Austrian Conchita Wurst's win last year helped to make the 2014 contest one of the most tweeted about TV shows of all time, with 5,384,678 tweets sent - smashing 2013's total of 3.76 million across Europe.

Watch this year's Eurovision Song Contest from 8pm on BBC One this Saturday, May 23.