back to article Franco robbed Sir Cliff of Eurovision win

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 …


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  1. P Saunders

    There you have it

    I knew it! After all these years those wily dagos finally own up to robbing the world of a Eurovision win for Sir Cliff. Heads should roll. Embassies should be closed. War should be declared. On the other hand maybe we should be thanking Spain for what can only be described as an act of mercy.

    Mine's the one with the Best of Boney M CD in the pocket

  2. Gordon Pryra


    Where the hell is that?

    I'm guessing some island near Canada?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Retaliation and jubilation, I want...

    I guess Franco found that Sir Cliff's "Living Doll" was about him...

    Gordon: I looked it up. Apparently it's near Gibraltar!

  4. James Anderson


    I have a cunning plan.

    Why dont we send an army of volunteers disgiused as chavs ( say about five divisions ) over to Spain where they could arm themselves with freely available lager glasses and insist the the crappest songs be played at full volume all along the Spanish coast.

    What do you mean we did that last year, and the year before , and the year before that ...

    Well serves them right anyway.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Gordon Prya

    Spain's part of the Eastern United States, somewhere south of England, not far from New York.

  6. Graham Dawson

    It's latin europe

    Y'know, like you have latin america where everyone speaks spanish...

    I really need to work on my act. Taxi!

  7. Richard

    Violation of the Trades Descriptions Act?

    In filing anything to do with the Eurovision Song Contest under "Entertainment"?

  8. Pete

    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.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    This year's entry...

    For the few of you that may have seen the video for the Spanish Eurovision entry this year... There's a philosophy behind it.

    Since the beginning of times, we have submitted to Eurovision:

    - Folk singers. Result: FAILURE

    - A blind pianist. Result: I don't remember

    - Winners of OT (the Spanish Popstar version). Result: FAILURE

    - A boy band, in which all the members looked uninterested in the female gender. Result: FAILURE

    So what to do? Send an actor playing a funny character, and have no victory aspirations. Result: Everyone I know is voting for him.

    Remember, these are the steps you'll all know soon:

    1. El breikindance

    2. El crusaito

    3. El Maikelyason

    4. El robocós

    You have been warned

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Gordon Pryra

    Spain is in Europe. It was the most powerful country in the world for most of the 16th and 17th centuries. Birthplace of Cervantes, Goya, Gaudi, Picasso, Cortes and Dali. Stamped its mark on half of America. Hope this helps.

  11. Marvin the Martian
    Thumb Down


    It's a bit ridiculous to try to bride hopelessly uncommercial national tv stations (we're speaking sixties here, but same would apply throughout seventies and eighties) with a promise to buy series (from another department they're probably at war with anyways, "drama" dept despising "quiz/entertainment" dept etc etc).

    Proof or it didn't happen --- bit improbable that there were no rumours for 40years, yes? However much further infighting went on in all those different countries' stations?

  12. Nev Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Well he was a facist dictator...

    ... but at least he did one thing for the good of mankind.

  13. Mage Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    Spanish Funny Character

    Ha! Ireland raises Spain's Funny Character by a Stuffed Turkey.

    At this rate next year's winning entry will be a plastic singing fish.

    You have *SEEN* that foul Dustin?

  14. heystoopid

    Oh no !

    Oh no , words just can't describe the pure unadulterated torture this song exudes , it defies description of any sort !

    Hang on that dance in the background looks vaguely familiar some how from the last century time warp of rocky horror or should one call the Royal Humane Society ?

  15. Smallbrainfield

    @Marvin the Martian

    It's just improbable enough to be possibly true. Some kind of insane agreement over the Bolivian Marching Powder by the higher ups foisted on the lower orders who then have to lie, bribe and cheat the general public just to keep their jobs. Which incidentally, they hate. TV has more looneys and egos working for it than any other profession I know.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: This year's entry...

    Chikilicuatre is doing to Eurovision what it's been doing to itself for years - being utterly ridiculous. If I wasn't a tight-arse, I'd definitely be voting for Baila El Chiki Chiki (damn premium-rate phone lines!).

  17. Spleen


    Killjoy. Eurovision is an uplifting event in which the whole continent (and for some reason Israel, and occasionally North Africa) unites around three shared ideals:

    1. Byzantine and unnecessarily complicated rules and processes (does anyone actually watch the semi-finals?)

    2. Greasy political conspiracy (any country that isn't in the Balkans or Baltics can pretty much forget it)

    3. Hatred of the British

  18. John Sanders
    Dead Vulture

    This year's contest...

    Spain will be the laughing stock this year's Eurovision.

    We warned when the Spanish act begins cover your eyes and ears... It's going to be so bad you'll feel embarrassed.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: @Gordon Pryra / Spain

    " Stamped its mark on half of America."

    Well, I guess that's one way of describing Spains 'activities' in the New World....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Eurovision is an uplifting event in which the whole continent (and for some reason Israel.."

    The reason Israel is in Eurovision, is 'cos when the European Broadcasting Union was founded, very few European countries had the money to set up public broadcasters, but Israel did

    Besides, all the Israelis of the time were born and brought up in Europe. They're Europeans, even if they do live on another continent.

  21. Lloyd

    This years act

    Looks suspiciously like the offspring of Sleazy P Martini and Rolf Harris, perhaps he should consider a career as Lordi's manager, it worked for GWAR.

  22. Ernest
    Thumb Down


    My parents payed their taxes for win a stupid song contest ?? next one will be the Real Madrid's european cups...

    Thanks to the rest of Europe for forgotten this filthy person after your second world war.

  23. alistair millington Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    This for real??

    Given Franco's legacy and the existing laws of spain, This doesn't surprise me, what does surprise me is that it went on air.

    If it wasn't that we pay for it and therefore get in by default, I doubt we would go beyond the semi's.


    Your rules are fairly accurate.

    You forgot however, listening to Wogan tell you the points and where they are going before the person announces them, because it is the same each year.

  24. Michael O'Malley

    Spanish entry is a turkey, unlike Ireland's

    The Spanish entry is a turkey, but Ireland's Dustin is poultry in motion. And Reg readers should understand that he is not a mere turkey. He has often explained that he is a turkey vulture.

  25. Fluffykins Silver badge

    @ Gordon Prya @Anonymous Coward

    "Spain's part of the Eastern United States, .................."

    Ah, of course. Two rich third world governments in one.

    Nice day, isn't it?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More words originally

    'La La La' originally had (more) words, but they were in Catalan, which Franco had outlawed. Hence the Las.

    And to @AC complaining about Spain's "activities" in the New World: if you're British, the words 'pot', 'kettle' and 'black' spring to mind.

  27. Joe

    If only Franco had finished the job off...

    ...and silenced Cliff Richard for good!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Eurovision 2008

    I deeply believe our entry for 2008 was rigged. The Spanish entry was created by national TV network La Sexta (Ooh, Sex, Paris icon coming...), and it is bloody awful! There were many better acts to choose from on the night, so how this wreck got thru I'll never know. No one I know voted for it (or admits to it anyway)

    Keep sending your tourists ova to send money :)

    Wishing u were here!


  29. Dave

    Winning Entries

    It's worth noting that when Finland accidentally let something decent through the initial selection process, it won. Says something about the whole agonising process, really.

  30. Steve Evans

    Eurovision is always amusing...

    You can sum up the entire politics of Europe just by watching.

    For example, Ireland and UK are generally nice to each other.

    France will never give the UK any meaningful votes, and vice-versa.

    All the ex-Russian states are so terrified of upsetting their big red neighbour, they always give it lots of votes, even if the song is purely the sound of a Yak breaking wind process by a Vocoder. At the rate Russia is crumbling round the edges, there will soon be so many ex-Russian states that Russia will win every year!

    There is of course one remaining question... How exactly does Israel qualify as being in Europe?

  31. Lukin Brewer
    Black Helicopters

    Of course, things were different then.


    Which is why they entered a top flight artist with a proven track record that year. Say what you like about our most Christian popster, at the time of Eurovision '68 he had been a perennial feature in the UK singles charts for the past ten years, with 8 No.1s, 27 top tens, and 48 entries in total.

    These days, we, the Public, are asked to share complicity by choosing our entry from a slate of total unknowns spouting forgettable dribble. Of course we could do better than this. Unlike all our other industries, the music industry is still running and still a world contender. Stock, Aitken and Waterman et al might be guilty of some horrible crimes against music, but those crimes were meticulously planned and executed with panache, garnering vast profits. If our major pop players set their sights on Eurovision, even the Balkan states would have their work cut out for them.

    But they aren't, and why? My guess is that the people responsible for Eurovision entries, and also responsible for staging the contest if we win, have decided that the game isn't worth the candle. Winning Eurovision may give the country a brief, warm feeling, but this doesn't translate into anything that would help cover the considerable cost of hosting Eurovision the following year. Remember Ireland's three-year run of Eurovision wins? It drove their state broadcaster close to bankruptcy.

    If Eurovision were a normal project funded by a government grant, not a year would have gone by without someone wanting to cut it, and reallocate the funds.

    Politically, our participation in Eurovision is a much easier victim than any grant funded entity. All that need happen is that we enter no-hopers each year and fail to win. No public decision need be taken, nobody has to wield the knife, few if any observers will guess what had happened, and it will be impossible to pin the blame on anyone.

    So there you have it, another conspiracy theory to join the Register's growing herd.

    By the way, I'm not opposed to any of the putative activities described above. I just want them to come clean, stop televising Eurovision and consign "Song for Europe" to the dustbin of history.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    Costa too much to win

    The modern game is ruled by money...

    If a country hasn't a large Tourism budget to spend it's not going to put forward good acts to try and win the-very-expensive-to-put-on Euroshow.

    Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have budgets but this is London Calling. I can't see Spain trying too hard either. And France has never understood the show... The Balkans, Israel et al can use the seems-like-8-hours show as a long worldwide advert (hence all those idyllic tourism shots). Norway, Sweden and Finland have all discovered a strange Eurovision Humour since NULLPoint and are out to cause anarchy and mayhem. Sadly it blew up in their face and Lordi won - so expect Sweden or Finland to take up the metal mantle this year...

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't believe everything you read...

    The "documentary" was produced for the same TV Station that pushed people to vote for one of their entertainers as a marketing ploy; as it seems, they needed to increase the coverage of the contest in the media, and they thought that this was a good way. Business as usual for this TV Station, which is the TV equivalent of a tabloid without the page three girl.

    In fact, the "documentary" has not even aired yet (it is scheduled to appear Thursday 8 at 22:00 EST), so this could be another marketing strategy.

  34. Anonymous Coward


    Don't you mean *fowl* Dustin...?

    Methinks the Irish might have taken the idea of entering a turkey into Eurovision a bit too literally and might end up winning unless one of the Nordic countries enters another decent hard rock band.

    The marketing opportunities for turkey farmers should Dustin win could be huge.

    Has Steve Evnas thought of getting the sound of a yak farting, putting it through a vocoder and releasing it in the UK charts? He might have a hit on his hands. OK, if he got too close to the yak he could have something else on his hands...

  35. Daniel B.

    "Spain's part of the Eastern United States, .................."

    You just reminded me of that North Carolina DMV employee who didn't know where the "State of MEXICO" was located in the US. 'Twas untill one of the higher-ups pointed out that Mexico was actually a country!

  36. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Confused now...

    ...does this denial of Cliff mean that there are some positive aspects to fascism?

    Still this year is looking like a class bit of Eurovision - what with Dunstin:


  37. Steven Burn
    Thumb Down

    I was ....

    .... gonna laugh hysterically ....... until I noticed who the UK was entering .......

    ... since I was forced to watch him on XFactor, I've not seen or heard anything (thankfully) concerning him - till now. When exactly were those televotes again? and why wasn't I told? dammit!

    Can we enter Iron Maiden instead? they're British, and a heck of alot better than anything we've previously entered, and still a heck of alot better than anything the UK has offered over the last 10 years or so ......

  38. Mr Larrington

    Yay! Go Generalissimo!

    The Eurovision Song Contest is this: unmitigated shite. The Italians & Luxembougeois have the right idea.

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Don't believe everything you read.


    "Business as usual for this TV Station, which is the TV equivalent of a tabloid without the page three girl."

    You mean it has absolutely no audience, apart from a few (easy) crossword fans?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Chiki Chiki is not a real character

    This year's Spanish entry is the best ever, he is not a real character, he was made up by a night time TV programme. They did it for a laugh, a poor guy who was originally from Argentina and his life-time dream was to be able to go to Spain one day and take part in Eurovision, the best TV contest ever. The truth is that he is a Spanish comedian and they invented that story to tell Eurovision with all its crappy songs and TV programmes supporting it to piss off! They decided to invent the most dreadful character and song ever to honour the latest Eurovision standards. And they won, because voting was made via SMS and on the Internet, and in Spain everyone is so fed up with all that Eurovision crap!

    So, come on Chiki Chiki! Remind them that they are sadly real!

  41. Mark

    Racist Britons

    That´s rich! Really funny to read how British racist speak about what Spain did to South Americans, never remebering what they did to Native-Americans, Irish, South-Africans, ... As far as I know, there are many native tribes in South American but only a few pleople in the USA. Moreover, the USA have continued to kill people all around the world, just as the British taught them to. Why do people all around the world hate British people while Spain was the most visited country in the world, followed by France? Very simple: because you British have nothing to be proud of: unfriendly and racist people who believe themselves to be superior to any race, just as fascist as Hitler, bad weather, awful cities, lack of respect for other cultures, ... Do I really have to continue?

  42. Steve Evans

    @Captain Jamie

    It's okay, I found some gloves :-D

  43. Mark


    You all don´t seem to be able to see that Eurovision is just a silly song contest. Just Rissianvision. By the way, Spain is one of the best countries in the world to live in, together with Italy, Greece & France. That is one of the main reasons why millions of British people visit Spain every year and why old British prefer to move to Spain when they retire.

  44. Mark


    Is this about Eurovision or just a discussion to show how racist Britons can be? I think you really feel inferior to many other countries such as Spain, France or any other Mediterratean country with friendly people, nice beaches, art, culture, museums, good food (acually, the best reataurants in the world is in Spain & France), long life expectancy, and so on. Who cares about what a Briton thinks?I myself prefer Mediterranean countries to the UK. I was there once and I spent the worst time of my life. My mother is British but I world never claim to be of British descent.

  45. Juliette Martens

    @ Mark

    Yeah, damn you racist Britons, you're constantly generalising other cultures. ALL of you.

    This reminds me of the line in Austin Powers: Goldmember - (paraphrased) "there are only two type of people I don't like, those who don't respect the culture of others...and the Dutch".

    /**Incidentally, being Dutch, I did not enjoy this in the slightest, which only served to further amuse my Irish friends (who only bring up "800 years of oppression" when Ireland loses in the rugby).*/

  46. John PM Chappell

    @ Mark

    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 ;¬)

  47. Anonymous Coward

    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.

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