25 October – I hear the cries of the birds in the wind

Do you like a close contest? One where the lead changes many times, with a winner only emerging towards the very end? A runaway winner can spoil things, especially if many wonder why it’s a runaway winner.

Back in 1982, we saw one of the biggest runaway winners ever. Today’s birthday girl Nicole Hohloch-Siebert, a teenager from Saarbrücken was last on stage in (Où est) Harrogate, and won by 61 points. This was a massive margin in 1982, so as runaways go, few can beat her. She got nine maxima, out of 17 she could get. She got points from seven of the other eight countries (cough, Luxembourg, cough). Of course, it wasn’t only a runaway winner, but also Germany’s first win after 27 years of trying. And it’s also the only winner – to date – by Messrs Siegel and Meinunger. As for Nicole, she confirmed her place in history by reprising her song in many languages, and topping music charts all over Europe. How many singers can do that these days?

Nicole is 59 today.

Frohe Geburtstag, Nicole!