The 1987 Eurovision contest was the first (and at present, only) time that Belgium had hosted the event, following Sandra Kim's win in Norway the previous year. Let's have a look at some general facts and trivia related to the event

ESC'87 General Facts
* Host City: Brussels
* Venue: Palais de Centenaire, Heysel
* Date of Event: May 9, 1987
* Host Broadcaster: RTBF
* EBU Scrutineer: Frank Naef
* Participating Countries: 22
* Estimated Viewing Audience: 500 million+
* Interval Act: "Ode To Joy" by Marc Grauwels

The Eurovision Song Contest: A Short Primer
The idea of the contest was conceived by a Swiss broadcast exceutive named Marcel Besanšon in the mid-1950s, based on the concept of the famous San Remo Music Festival held annually in Italy. It was a way for the fledgling European Broadcasting Union to bring the countries of Europe together through music as the continent rebuilt itself after the second world war. The first contest was staged in Lugano, Switzerland in 1956 and was only intended to be a one-off event, but since has grown into the international event that has been running now for over five decades and has attracted millions of fans from around the world

Host Bio

Viktor Lazlo (real name: Sonia Dronier) was born in Lorient, France and is of Grenadian and Martiniquan descent. She took her stage name from the character of Victor Lazlo in the classic film Casablanca. A talented singer, she is a huge star in the French-speaking regions of Europe. Viktor was only in her mid-20s when she hosted ESC'87, she also performed her hit song "Breathless" to open the show. More about her and her music can be found at her MySpace profile

Interesting Facts
* May 9, 1987 was the 30th anniversary of the formation of the European Community. The interval act was dedicated to that event
* The margin of victory for Ireland was 31 points
* Of Ireland's 172 points, 96 of them came from full marks. 19 out of the 21 other countries gave the entry at least 1 point
* 5 past Eurovision participants made a return trip to the contest in 1987 after appearing in recent editions. They included Alexia (Dublin 1981, as part of Island), Wind, Gary Lux (both Gotheborg 1985), Lotta Engberg (Luxembourg 1984, as a backup for Herreys) and Johnny Logan (The Hague 1980)
* Johnny Logan was 4 days shy of his 33rd birthday when he won for the second time
* Coincidentally enough, both of Johnny's Eurovision wins as a performer had a German entry place second
* Belgium's Flemish broadcaster BRT wished to co-organize the event, but the Wallonian broadcaster RTBF took the sole responsibility of staging it
* The young girl featured in several of the travelogue videos introducing each country's entry was 1986 ESC winner Sandra Kim
* The Swedish entry was originally called "Fyra Bugg och en Coca-Cola", but due to trademark concerns it was renamed "Boogaloo" for the Eurovision final
* Hanne Krogh and Rolf Lovland co-wrote the Norwegian entry. Both were part of Norway's victory in 1985, Rolf as composer and Hanne as one half of Bobbysocks
* Kobi Oshrat, who conducted the Israeli entry, composed the song "Hallelujah", which won for Milk and Honey in 1979
* An Israeli cabinet minister threatened to resign if "Shir Habatlanim" won its country's national final and advanced to Eurovision
* The accompanying artist postcards featured images by several different Belgian cartoonists, most notably Herge (Tintin) and Peyo (The Smurfs)
* Italy and Greece made their return to the contest after a year's absence
* Cyprus and Switzerland were the only 2 countries that did not have conductors in their delegations. The conductor of the RTBF orchestra, Jo Carlier, conducted the Cyprus entry
* Turkey received the dreaded "nul points". This was the second time in 4 years that a Turkish entry failed to score, the last being the song "Opera" in 1983
* 1987 marked the last time a physical scoreboard was used at Eurovision. A computer representation would be used beginning with the 1988 contest in Dublin and has been used for every contest onward
* Wind backing singer Rob Pilatus would find infamy one year later as one half of the dance-pop duo Milli Vanilli

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