22 December – Look, the swallows high in the sky

As we know, next year’s contest – a riotous cavalcade of quality song if ever there was one – will be in the Netherlands. The Dutch have been at all-but-four of the contests, so are firmly in love with it. Even so, they’ve had their good years and bad years.

In 1982, NOS as was sent today’s birthday boy Willem Edsger ‘Bill’ van Dijk to the little contest in Harrogate. While we know there was a landslide winner, it was a different story at the lower end of the scoreboard. Bill did have an act to remember, as he was joined by a band of five young ladies, one of whom – Lisa Boray – towered above him and wore bright pink. Obviously no shrinking violet. Anyway, Bill’s antics saw him score eight points, from two juries. He didn’t finish last, but it took 12 years before a Dutch song scored fewer points.

Bill is 73 today.

Gefeliciteerd, Bill!

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