The New Seekers performing at the Eurovision Song Contest
The New Seekers performing at the Eurovision Song Contest

After gaining popularity with our various hits in 1972. The New Seekers were selected to represent Great Britain in the Eurovision song contest.

Coming from Australia, I didn’t know too much about the competition – But back in the 70’s The Eurovision Song Contest was a big deal, and to have been chosen to represent Great Britain was a tremendous honour.

In those days it was an acclaimed genuine song contest, where as today, although I still enjoy watching it – it’s become more of a parody of itself with camp costumes and crazy routines that take precedence over the songs. Our entry ended up being a song called Beg Steal or Borrow .

The New Seekers with Cliff

The selection process and rules were very different in those days. We had to perform the 6 finalist songs – one each week live on the Cliff Richard Show and the public would ultimately select the winning song.

Beg Steal or Borrow was released as a single and reached No 2 in the charts before the actual song contest.
The contest was to be held in Edinburgh at the Usher Hall – The Scots were out in force and there was a huge banner at the airport which read …. “ Edinburgh Welcomes the New Seekers” …The only problem was – we arrived by train.

We stayed at the Caledonian Hotel. There was a sea of screaming fans outside and the Press had made us hot favourites. There was a lot of momentum behind us and we were quietly confident that we had a good chance of winning.

Day before the Eurovision Contest

The outfits and presentation was a lot more subdued in those days and the staging very Spartan by comparison to today’s extravaganzas.

When it came to the voting we were out in front until it was Ireland and Spain’s turn to vote. Most of our points up till then had been 10’s & 12’s. Ireland gave us 2 points whilst Spain gave us 3.

…I’m not cynical enough to suggest that there was any political motive behind the voting, even though Spain were trying to claim back Gibraltar and the crisis with the IRA had generated bad feeling in Ireland but suffice to say that we lost by a few points and came second to Vicki Leandros with “Come What May”……it was a bitter pill to swallow. Tail between our legs, we soldiered on.

Although we’ve had numerous hits in our time the most popular and well known song around the world was I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing and how that came about is an interesting story.

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