Eurovision 2015: Seven things you might not know
Eurovision Song Contest fever is spreading once again, as viewers across Europe plan to gather with friends and cheer on their favourite countries at Saturday's final.
Google is marking the annual singing competition with a colourful Google Doodle filled with cartoon characters representing Europe’s diversity.
As the contest marks its 60th year, we take a look back at its history with seven facts you might not know.
1) Live animals are banned during performances, as is instrumental music.
2) Emil Ramsauer, who represented Switzerland alongside Takasa in 2013, is the competition’s oldest contestant to date. She was 95 when she performed.
3) Ireland has won the contest more times than any other country, claiming the prize in 1970, 1980, 1987, 1991, 1993, 1995, and 1995.
4) But Norway has had the opposite luck to Ireland, and ranked bottom of the contest as many as ten times. The country came last in: 1963, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1990, 1997, 2001 and 2004.
5) Eurovision super-fan nation Australia is joining in the contest this year as a one off, to mark the contest’s 60th anniversary.
6) Although many contestants sink into obscurity, ABBA (1974), Celine Dion (1988), Cliff Richard (1968 and 1973) and Julio Iglesias (1970).
7) Italy refused to participate in the 1981 Eurovision Song contest, arguing that it was too old fashioned.
More history will be made on Saturday evening at the Eurovision Song Contest final in the host nation of Austria, where: Armenia, Belgium, Greece, Estonia, Serbia, Hungary, Russia, Albania, Romania Georgia, Australia, and automatic qualifiers UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, will compete.
Graham Norton will host coverage in the UK for BBC One, which will start at 8pm.
Independent News Service