Katrina And The Waves stormed to victory at the 1997 Eurovision Song Contest, handing the United Kingdom its fifth – and to date, last – win.
But lead singer Katrina Leskanich thinks that their winning song Love Shine A Light was overlooked when it was released.
The 60-year-old has admitted she was shocked that the group’s song was used so heavily in this year’s replacement Eurovision special, considering the lack of love it was given 23 years ago.
After Eurovision was cancelled this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic, a special called Europe Shine A Light was aired, giving the 41 entries their moment in the spotlight.
During the show, a singalong was held to the Katrina And The Waves song – which Katrina singing the final line after the 2020 entries sang from their respective countries.
Speaking to the Press Association, the singer said: ‘I was shocked when they used Love Shine A Light on that show. They said, “Can you record a little bit?” and I did the very last bit. But I had no idea that everybody was going to take a line.
‘I watched it that night and I was absolutely astonished. The orchestra is playing and it was all guns blazing. It was Europe shine a light.
‘It was almost better than winning it again, to have it featured in such a heavy way. I thought it was brilliant because it was so poignant and it worked so well for the times, and what everyone was going through. It really made it such a poignant and emotional moment.’
The Walking On Sunshine singer continued: ‘I was absolutely delighted because I always felt like Love Shine A Light was never… People talk about the UK and Eurovision and they will always think of Making Your Mind Up and Bucks Fizz.
‘I remember winning with Love Shine A Light and feeling a little bit as if… I know Tony Blair and the Labour party had just come into power and it was a great time – it was a really up time.
‘It was very 90s and the music was very… druggy and upbeat. don’t feel as if Love Shine A Light got quite the look-in that other winners got because of the circumstances.
‘So when it was rebirthed for the Eurovision show it was incredibly beneficial for me and rewarding. A happy time.’
The 1997 Eurovision Song Contest was held in Dublin, following Eimear Quinn’s win the previous year.
Katrina And The Waves were the clear winner, achieving 227 points as opposed to the 157 points that won Ireland’s Marc Roberts second place.
The United Kingdom has won five times, with Sandie Shaw’s Puppet On A String, Lulu’s Boom Bang-a-Bang, Brotherhood Of Mann’s Save All Your Kisses For Me, Bucks Fizz’s Making Your Mind Up and Love Shine A Light, but since then, the nation has had less success, coming in last place four times since 2003.
The last time the UK broke the top 10 was in 2009, when Jade Ewen made the top five with It’s My Time, accompanied by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
James Newman was supposed to represent the UK this year with his song My Last Breath, it is unclear whether he will return next year.
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