Fifty-four years after Germany played host to the second ever Eurovision Song Contest, the musical jamboree comes to Düsseldorf this May. It’s a very different world since ARD staged the show in 1957 with just 10 nations in a small TV studio in Frankfurt.
This year, a record 43 countries will take part in the three shows, with a potential audience of 35,000 live in the Esprit Arena. All 10 nations from 1957 will be on show in Germany, but only two of their languages survive. The creaky phone lines that provided the results from the 100 judges have been superseded by state of the art, pan-continental technology that involves all the 125 million viewers watching at home. It’s a very different show indeed.