What’s it like to be runner-up? If you’re the host country, then it’s ideal. If you think you’re in with a shot of winning, then you’ll always be ‘first loser’. Alternatively, there are times when winning is more embarrassing than second place.
Now, in 1970, lots of countries took a year out after fun and games a year earlier. This gave us a slimmed down contest of 12 songs, which meant a quick show and no interminable waiting around for a result. We know Ireland won for the first time, but today’s birthday girl Mary Hopkin was the runner-up. It was an interesting affair. Belgium gave nine of its ten available points to Ireland, and poor Mary ended up six points adrift at the end of proceedings. However, both of those countries’ songs have since become classics in their own special ways. So maybe runner-up isn’t so bad after all.
Mary is 72 today.
Happy birthday, Mary!