3 November – I would pray to see the rainbow

Blue Stilton. Do you miss the orchestra? Those days when you had 50 or so competent musicians to accompany the act on stage are becoming a distant memory now, but there were some darn good contests where the orchestra came into their own. And I'm not sure whether it's just me, but in those days, some singers were able to carry a tune far better than they can these days.

Back in 1968, which was the first year a contest was shown in colour, we had a cornucopia of decent singers, all in bright colours to take advantage of the new colour technology. Today's birthday boy Gianni Mascolo was an Italian singing for Switzerland, resplendent in an orange suit. Rock n roll. And did you know that he - apparently - runs an Italian restaurant in London?

Gianni is 75 today.

Buon compleanno/Frohe Geburtstag/Bonne anniversaire/Cordialas gratulaziuns per l'anniversari, Gianni!