Eurovision UK contestants: Where are they now? From Bucks Fizz to Michael Rice

THE EUROVISION Song Contest is back again – and we're getting ready for another series of fun-filled tracks to brighten our Saturday night.

But what happened to the previous UK entries?

Since the first contest back in 1956, the UK has won five times, and came runner-up a further 15.

But it's been 24 years since our last success, can this year's hopeful James Newman bring it back home?

In the meantime, let's look back on some of the most recent songs the UK has brought to the table, as well as what happened to the stars behind the most memorable moments.

Sandie Shaw (Puppet On A String, 1967)

Sandie gave the UK its first Eurovision victory, and as such will always be a Eurovision icon.

The star, now 73, took to the stage with a number of hits already under her belt, having recorded songs in French, Spanish, German and Italian.

Sandie removed herself from the spotlight shortly after to focus on being a mum to daughter Gracie, and retired from music completely in 2013.

She has since become a political campaigner, fighting against 2016's Brexit and working with Amnesty International.

The star later revealed her ex-husband blew her money, leaving her to live in a caravan.

In 2018, she was awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace.

Cliff Richard: Congratulations (1968) 

If you've been in a Frankie and Benny's restaurant for longer than half an hour, then you're familiar with Congratulations, the celebratory track by Cliff Richard.

His appearance at Eurovision came at the height of his popularity, which was cemented with films The Young Ones and Summer Holiday, as well as their subsequent theme songs.

He has continued to perform and release music, breaking the record for the amount of singles to ever make it to the official UK Top 20 (124 in his solo career alone, not including his work with his band).

Cliffs' Christmas tracks including Mistletoe and Wine and Saviour's Day are also brought out every year without fail.

Lulu (Boom Bang-a-Bang, 1969)

We dare you not to sway along when you listen to Boom Bang-a-Bang – and you'll 100% be singing to the chorus by the end of it.

In a show first, this track was part of a four-way tie win at Eurovision, alongside Spain, France and The Netherlands.

She went on to sing the theme for Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974, and continued her musical career which is still present today.

In 2011, she appeared in in Strictly Come Dancing in, and in 2014 sang at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Lulu is now a star of stage and screen, even joining Take Take on tour in 2019 to perform their number one hit from 1993, Relight My Fire.

Brotherhood of Man (Save Your Kisses for Me, 1976)

Brotherhood of Man’s Save All Your Kisses For Me was another win for the UK at Eurovision. 

The catchy pop hit was performed by Martin Lee, Nicky Stevens, Lee Sheridan and Sandra Stevens. 

They went on to land three number one singles and four top 20 albums during they hey day. 

Despite the band having major success after Eurovision, interest in the band wound down in the early 80s and the band had new members enter and leave the band. 

They got back together in 1985 and have remained together ever since, and still make appearances to celebrate Eurovision every year. 

Bucks Fizz (Making Your Mind Up, 1981) 

Another win for the UK, Making Your Mind Up and their skirt-ripping performance may remain one of the most iconic Eurovision performances of all time. 

Bobby G, Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston completed the four-piece vocal group and together they were one of the UK’s most successful pop stars of the 1980s. 

Their other hits include The Land Of Make Believe, When We Were Young and My Camera Never Lies. 

Jay Aston quit the group and was replaced by Shelley Preston in 1985. 

Nowadays, they can be seen in two formations. 

Bobby G now continues to perform under Bucks Fizz, while Cheryl, Mike and Jay are now together and touring as The Fizz, as Bobby’s wife owns the band’s original name. 

Gina G (OOh Ahh Just A Little Bit, 1996) 

Gina G came in eighth with this classic 90s banger – and it continues to be played to this day at retro pop nights thanks to its accompanying dance routine. 

It was also the last Eurovision entry to chart at number one in the UK. 

Gina later attempted to return to Eurovision in 2005, but in the pre-selection competition, she came in last over Katie Price, and Javine who eventually went on to represent us. 

The star continued to make music but her time in the limelight eventually stalled. 

She has to date released two albums and 11 singles. 

Katrina and The Waves (Love Shine A Light, 1997) 

Our last big success at Eurovision, Katrina and the Waves' heartwarming Love Shine A Light is a 'put your phone torch on and sway it in the air' kind of vibe.

The band had previously found success on the just as joyful but far more upbeat Walking On Sunshine.

However, just two years later, the band dissolved. 

Katrina Leskanich left the group in 1998 after disagreements with her fellow bandmates, kicking off a tricky legal case which prevented her from using the band’s name in order to launch her own career. 

Continuing as a three-piece, the remaining members were unable to find a new Katrina, and subsequently called it quits. 

However, in July 2013, the band performed together once again, with Katrina rejoining the Waves for a performance at San Fermin festival. 

In 2020, when the Eurovision Song Contest couldn’t take place due to coronavirus, a special event titled Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light was aired in instead. 

In an emotional moment, acts from the competing countries all performed part of the song in a symbolic gesture of togetherness. 

Katrina returned to sing the final line. 

Javine (Touch My Fire, 2005)

Javine was up against former champion Gina G and Katie Price's attempt at a music career in order to get her Eurovision spot, but she made it.

In an awkward moment during the pre-selection competition, tape holding her dress in place came loose, resulting in a live TV wardrobe malfunction. 

At the actual event in Kyiv, Javine stated that she was suffering from a  throat infection before her performance. 

She finished in 22nd place. 

Since then, Javine has been largely out of the limelight, making fleeting appearances in reality shows including Celebrity Scissorhands in 2007 and Celebrity Come Dine With Me in 2010. 

She is now raising two children. 

Lucie Jones (Never Give Up On You, 2017) 

Lucie Jones, a former X Factor contestant, gave mainstream stardom another shot in 2017 as representative for the UK. 

Her song, Never Give Up On You, came in 15th with 111 points. It was the UK’s best result in six years. 

However Lucie has gained massive prominence thanks to her theatre performances, becoming a leading face on the West End. 

She was starring as leading lady Jenna in Waitress before lockdown occurred. 

Now, Lucie will take on Fantine in Les Miserables and will tour the UK as Jenna in Waitress in a 2021/2022 UK tour. 

Other credits include Legally Blonde, The Wedding Singer, Rent and Ghost: The Musical. 

SuRie (Storm, 2018)

SuRie’s time at Eurovision was sadly an unhappy one compared to others. 

After being chosen to represent the UK, her big moment performing Storm was overshadowed when an intruder invaded the stage, stole her microphone from her, and began yelling. 

The man screamed: "Modern nazis of the UK media, we demand freedom, war is not peace,” leaving her shaken, but she carried on like a trooper and finished the song. 

She was offered the chance to sing again, but declined. 

She revealed in 2019 she had been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of the incident, and struggled to perform again. 

“I was composed on stage. But once I was off stage the emotions really hit – the shock, the fear, the confusion, the anger. I had a very physical reaction,” she said. “I was livid.” 

“I was diagnosed with PTSD. When the doctor said that I thought, ‘Come on, it’s Eurovision – this isn’t a war zone.’

“But he explained that what happened to me was so abnormal that it had really affected me.”

Despite what happened, SuRie is continuing to make music, and released an album last year. 

Michael Rice (Bigger Than Us, 2019)

Michael Rice was our last official entrant, representing the UK with the song Bigger Than Us in Tel Aviv, Israel. 

He placed 26th overall. 

Since then he has been releasing singles, including Think Of Me and Breaking Free in 2020. 

His latest single, Falling For You, is being released in line with Eurovision’s final on May 21st.

The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will air from 8pm, May 22nd on BBC One.

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