7 December – Go, my golden balloon, wrapped in fantasy

It must be daunting to open our favourite TV show, but at least you get to the Green Room bar before everyone else. You probably have to hope they have your tipple of choice. What would yours be?

In 1979, the contest opener came from today’s birthday girl Manuela Bravo (née Maria Manuela de Oliveira Moreira Bravo). She’d travelled from one end of the Mediterranean to the other, and then along a bit to Jerusalem. She was the first act some locals had ever seen in colour and she even scored Portugal’s third-ever top 10 finish. Her song was even the second-best with one jury. As an opener, it’s a very jolly number, so if you’ve never heard it before, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Manuela is 64 today.

Feliz aniversario, Manuela!