Friday 30 September 2016

Eurovision: new book reveals backstage brawls, sabotage and dancing on tables

Published 06/05/2015 | 07:22

Louis Walsh with Morah Ryan and her daughters, Lottie, Babette and Bonnie at the launch of David Blake Knox book Ireland the Eurovision at the Spencer Hotel in Dublin.
Louis Walsh with Morah Ryan and her daughters, Lottie, Babette and Bonnie at the launch of David Blake Knox book Ireland the Eurovision at the Spencer Hotel in Dublin.
David Blake Knox
Rory Cowan

Backstage brawls, sabotage and dancing on tables - just some of the tales from the infamous Eurovision parties.

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Boyband manager Louis Walsh was on hand to help launch a new book on the annual musical cheesefest.

"The most memorable Eurovision for me was in 1980 when Johnny Logan won in the white suit in the Hague," Louis told the Herald.

"They were real parties then, I can't begin to tell you what happened back stage but they were good fun," he added.

Former U2 manager Paul McGuinness said the "real winner" out of the Eurovision was Riverdance, which was the interval act in 1994.

"I put out the record for the interval music by Bill Whelan [and it] went to number one for 18 weeks in Ireland. That was the real winner," he said.

The two music moguls were among those who turned out for the launch of David Blake Knox's new book, Ireland and the Eurovision, at the Spencer Hotel last night.

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David Blake Knox

The book was described by RTE's Eurovision host Marty Whelan as "a must-buy for Eurovision nuts like him".

Also in attendance were Morah, Lottie, Bonnie and Babette Ryan, who admitted they were "huge fans" of the contest.

"We have Eurovision parties in our house, Rock 'n' Roll Kids is my ultimate song but Bonnie and Babette love Conchita Wurst," Lottie said.

WATCH: 10 Irish Eurovision entries from the forgotten decades  

Mrs Brown's Boys star Rory Cowan said he's watched the competition since he was a child.

"I would love to fly out to Vienna this year if the marriage equality referendum passes," he said.

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Rory Cowan

Blake Knox, now an independent producer, was head of entertainment at RTE from 1990 to 1994, during Ireland's 'golden era', when it won and staged the Eurovision three years in a row.

His book was released to mark the 50th anniversary of Ireland's participation in the famous song contest.

Eurovision 2015: 29 bizarre facts from Eurovision history you need to know  

He also remembered his good friend, the late Gerry Ryan, who hosted the contest in 1994 at The Point.

"Gerry was the most enthusiastic presenter of all time.

"He lived, breathed and exuded the essence of the contest," he said.

"He absolutely loved it and that can be seen in how he presented it.

"That was the year Riverdance performed, which was sensational," he added.

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Herald

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