After nearly 49 years, it is believed film prints from the very first Eurovision Song Contest from 1956 have been discovered by Swiss Television. Extracts were shown last night in an interview with Lys Assia, the winner of the 1956 contest, who had copies of the contest herself. On the Dutch show Networkt Lys Assia and the interviewer are watching moving pictures of the 1956 contest on her television.
Eurovision Song Contest 1956
The first contest was held at the Teatro Kursaal, Lugano in Switzerland, on 24th May 1956 and was broadcast by RTSI . It was hosted for the only time to date by a solo male presenter, Lohengrin Filipello.
Seven countries competed in that first contest, each submitting two songs each. Several countries had the same singer perform both their entries, as was the case for Switzerland, with Lys Assia, who won the contest with Refrain
The voting was never made public, each country had two jurors who gave each song (including the songs of their own country) a mark between 1 and 10 points. The song with the most points was declared the winner.
For some time sound recordings of the first contest had been available, but now just short of the 50th anniversary of the Eurovision Song Contest, it looks as if, finally, we will be able to see the event that started it all!
Eurovision Song Contest 1964
This means that the 1964 contest staged in Copenhagen by DR, is the only contest believed not to exist in its entirety in any archive, although the winning performance of Gigliola Cinquetti has been retained.
Esctoday.com will bring you more of this exciting news when we have more information.