Advantages Fast to load site full of useless Eurovision information
Disadvantages Used by anoraks
I’m going to have to admit to having a strange fascination with the Eurovision song contest here. I loved it as a kid, because you do. Then just as I was going through my so-called trendy phase when I would normally have hated it, along came Johnny Logan to win for Ireland, and thinking he was a right cutie, I started watching it again.I don’t seem to be the only one who is fascinated though, and this website proves it. The Eurovision database (www.eurovisiondatabase.co.uk) was set up on 6/12/96 and has been going from strength to strength since – over 463,000 people have visited it. To quote from the site ‘These pages are devoted to the most loathed, most criticised, and yet most watched television programme seen all over Europe every year - The Eurovision Song Contest!’ They relive the glories of the recent and distant past when we Europeans were glued to our TV sets in millions wondering whether the group in penguin suits would win, or whether the Irish song could lose.’ This site is packed full of Eurovision song contest information you didn't realise you wanted to know.
I e-mailed the guy who runs the site to research its background further, and he sent me a lovely reply explaining a bit more about how he got into it. His name is Geoff Harris, and he is not a web designer by trade, he works in IT looking after hospital servers. He has been a fan of the Eurovision song contest since Sandie Shaw won in 1967 and he regularly does reporting on the contest for various radio shows. He joined the Eurovision song contest fan club in 1990, but says he is not a fanatic and enjoys Wogan's joking commentary.The front page is reasonably garish, showing a black background with yellow and blue writing. You click on a logo to enter the main site, where it becomes garish in different colours, being a light blue background with coloured writing. Navigation is easy throughout the site, with links at the bottom of the main page and pull down menus from most other pages. Most pages also have other links highlighted, taking you to other pages with yet more links, so you could be stuck in Eurovision land for days! There is a search facility on the home page and also a site map if you get confused.
There is no way I can logically guide you round this maze of a site (even the site map only lists the main links), so I thought it would be best to give a list of links from the main page and follow one trail to give you an idea of the depth of the information to be found. Then you can discover its delights for yourself. The main links are:• 1997 Eurovision Song Contest
I’ve decided to follow the trail of the 1998 Eurovision song contest, as it was held in Birmingham (Katrina and the Waves having won the year before with ?? - answer in comments please if you know it) and it was full of controversy with Dana International winning (a transexual from Israel causing outrage from some religious groups).The main 1998 page shows photos of Dana International and loads more links. Clicking on ‘my reports from Birmingham’ you are taken to a page detailing a diary of Eurovision events from 2/5/98 – 10/5/98 (the contest was held on 9/5/98). It is full of photos and ‘interesting’ facts about the show and culminates in the review of the contest. Another link takes you to the actual scores from the evening (Switzerland obtained ‘nil point’, United Kingdom 166 points and Israel a grand 172 points).
Back on the 1998 page, you can also click on links to each country’s national contest, so for example Norway had a choice of 8 songs before they finally chose ‘All I ever needed was you’ to represent them. You can even click on a choice of two links to read full illustrated reviews of this event!Also from the 1998 page there is a page dedicated to the two presenters, Terry Wogan (of course!) and Ulrika Johnsson. Links from this page take you to the Ulrika Jonsson Fan Club and The Wogan Shrine. I have only mentioned about half of the links available from this page, so you can see how you could be reading for hours (if you were that sad).
I think a few more links from the home page are worth mentioning too, before I leave you to have fun on the site. The Eurovision Anorak quiz has 6 questions and apparently if you get 3 right, you are an anorak. I only got one right I am proud to say. The ‘where are they now’ page should be developed more as I always find it interesting to see what faded stars are doing. Currently they only have two people featured, Nicole (who won in 1982 for Germany) and Ingrid Bjornov (who won for Norway in 1984). There are details of their successes and even a link Nicole’s current tour dates. The 'shop' recommends you to use Amazon.com to source CDs by ex-Eurovision song contest entrants, and even lists some as recommendations (no thanks!). Finally, the brief history of the Eurovision song contest is essential reading for all fans. It all started in 1956, you know.This site loads quickly, is easy to use and is full of useless but strangely interesting information for all fans of the Eurovision song contest. Definitely a way to while away many a happy hour!
I’ll leave you with three interesting facts. Johnny Logan is the only person to have won the Eurovision sing contest twice (for Ireland), I have his single What’s Another Year and Whitbybunny has his album. Who is the saddest?
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