Like it or not, here’s Switzerland

We all live in the era of the free-language rule now, but do you remember when it wasn’t so? You could only sing in a language spoken in your country until 1999, and that led to some fun and games.

Three countries had the advantage of singing in English. Then there were the countries that were spoilt for choice of language. None more so than our friends in Switzerland.

They had four – yes, four – to choose from. It must have blown their minds in sunny Bern. And it meant that we had some variety to look forward to from the Alpine nation.

In 1983, they chose Italian, sung by the winsome Gabriella Filomeno who used the stage name Mariella Farré. She came back in German in 1985. She is a polyglot among polyglots.