LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – The first British act to win the Eurovision Song Contest, Sandie Shaw, has written a blog post on the Huffington Post criticising the BBC for making a mockery of the annual event. Shaw says, “It has saddened me to see it degenerate from such a noble intention into a joke where the BBC often present it as a chance to take the mickey out of other nations and for a lot of countries to vote in a partisan way. This is not the intention or spirit of the event. It is to celebrate and support our differences and discover what we have in common – in a fun and entertaining way”.
The singer has also spoken out about her experience at the contest, saying it was a “bittersweet” adventure during which she was humiliated by the BBC. Shaw, which had an affair with popular BBC host Rolf Harris, without her knowledge that the entertainer was married, says she was isolated by the broadcaster, Rolf Harris, his manager and director when the news of her affair broke in the media. The singer says she was nearly removed from Harris’ TV show where she was due to present several songs shortlisted to represent the country at Eurovision. Her Eurovision success almost did not happen; the BBC wanted to drop her because she had been the “other woman” in a divorce case. The singer says her hit Eurovision entry “Puppet on a String” was symbolic of her helplessness and experience during that time, adding that she was ashamed of the camp arrangement of the song, which won the contest in Vienna in 1967 by a near record number of votes.
Despite her criticism, Shaw is grateful to have had the opportunity to take part in the contest which brought her worldwide fame which is why the 68-year old has offered to be part of the event this year in Vienna.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sandie Shaw represented the United Kingdom at the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Puppet on a String”. The song won and became a major hit both at home and across Europe, particularly in Germany. Rollf Harris, who almost destroyed the singer’s career, was arrested in 2013 and sentenced to five years in prison for historical sexual abuses of minors during the height of his career.
SOURCE: HUFFINGTON POST