9 October – Friend, be vigilant

One trick that’s been tried occasionally at our favourite TV show is to make the arena audience feel special by singing about their country/city. It might give your song an extra big reception, which the jurors and televoters pick up on, causing you to get votes in droves. Or not.

It can have mixed results. The Netherlands sort of did it in 1980 which worked, but Austria have tried twice with a lesser result. In 1979, Austrian birthday girl Christina Simon (née Christina Ganahl, aka Ina Wolf) schlepped out to Jerusalem with a song about, erm, Jerusalem. It was downbeat in a jazzy way and made a hope for peace. So, you would think, plenty of boxes ticked. Not so, with only two countries placing Christina in their top ten. Maybe every other country had her eleventh overall. Christina now writes, and is pretty successful. Who says Eurovision ruins careers?

Christina is 69 today.

Frohe Geburtstag, Christina!