Eurovision final 2023: UK's entries in charts - do men or women do best and which region produces most acts?

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How popular are solo artists compared to groups? Do men or women lead the way in UK acts? Our Eurovision charts have the answers.

The moment of truth is almost here for Liverpool, as it steps up to host the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 for the UK on behalf of last year's war-torn winners Ukraine.

Acts from 26 countries will take to the stage at the Liverpool Arena during tonight's (13 May) live final, with the contest kicking off on BBC One at 8pm.

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It will be the UK's 65th time competing at the song contest and our ninth time hosting. But what other numbers tell the story of the UK's Eurovision journey?

From which regions of the country produce the most Eurovision acts (and which are snubbed by the selection process), to the domination of the contest by female artists, this is the UK's Eurovision in charts and numbers.

Solo artists outnumber bands among UK entries 

The UK’s Eurovision entries have been overwhelmingly solo acts during the show’s history, making up 42 out of our 65 acts. This year’s entry, Mae Muller, is the sixth consecutive solo artist. 

Eurovision in numbers: from the gender of acts to whether solo artists or groups are the most successful, this is the UK's entries over the years in charts (Image: NationalWorld/Mark Hall)Eurovision in numbers: from the gender of acts to whether solo artists or groups are the most successful, this is the UK's entries over the years in charts (Image: NationalWorld/Mark Hall)
Eurovision in numbers: from the gender of acts to whether solo artists or groups are the most successful, this is the UK's entries over the years in charts (Image: NationalWorld/Mark Hall) | NationalWorld/Kim Mogg

It does seem however that tastes have changed over the years of Eurovision. During the 70s and 80s, 55% of the acts we put forward were groups, while 10% were duos. Not a single solo act was put forward for a 10-year spell between 1975 and 1984. 

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The selection process has varied over the years, oscillating between internal selection by the BBC and a public vote, so this may not reflect public tastes. 

The heat map below shows how popular solo acts, groups and duos have been over the years. Can’t see the chart? You can open it in a larger window here

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Which parts of the UK produce the most Eurovision acts?

With Mae Muller’s appearance in 2023, London has become the UK region to have produced the greatest number of UK entries in modern Eurovision history, with six acts to represent the country since the turn of the century hailing from the capital. London has now pulled ahead of Wales, with Welsh singers representing the UK on five occasions since 2000, either on their own or as part of a group.

We have included bands, duos and solo groups to have represented the UK since 2000 in our regional analysis, with non-solo acts counted against a region if at least one member comes from there. It is more difficult to trace the origin of members of some groups in contests during the 20th century. 

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Rather than counting where somebody was born, we have opted to base our analysis on where the singers spent their formative years. For instance Jessica Garlick, the 2002 entry, was born in Derby but is considered thoroughly Welsh.

The map below shows how each region fares for producing Eurovision acts. Can't see it? You can open the map in a new window here.

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Wales has produced the most successful acts on average, with their artists finishing in an average 15th place, while East of England acts have achieved the highest average number of points, at 132, in no small part due to Essex's Sam Ryder, who scored 466 points in 2022.

Both Scotland and Northern Ireland are severely underrepresented among the UK’s acts. Neither country has sent anybody to the contest for the UK so far in the 21st century. In fact, the last ‘Scot’ to represent the UK was Samantha Janus back in 1991 (while born in England she moved to Edinburgh as a child) and before her Scott Fitzgerald in 1988.

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The last act from Northern Ireland meanwhile was Clodagh Rodgers in 1971. A sizable number of Northern Irish artists have represented Ireland at the contest however. 

There are some band members that performed between 1971 or 1991 and 1999 whose origins we have been unable to trace, but this is the best possible picture of Scotland and Northern Ireland’s participation in Eurovision on behalf of the UK. 

Girl power? How female acts lead the way among UK Eurovision entries

Over the years female acts have outnumbered male ones when it comes to the UK’s entries, with 27 solo female or all-female groups taking to the stage compared to 23 male acts. There have also been 15 mixed-sex groups or duos. 

A male solo act has never won Eurovision for the UK, while two female solo acts have taken the crown, though not for over 50 years – Sandie Shaw in 1967 and Lulu in 1969. Our other three victories have come from mixed-sex groups. 

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On average since the year 1990 (a cut-off we have chosen as there have been a similar number of countries competing since then) the average rank achieved by female acts has been 12th place, 18th for male acts, and 16th for mixed-sex acts.

The column chart below shows how female, male and mixed sex artists compare across different types of act. Can’t see the chart? You can open it in a new window here

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How many times has the UK come last place in Eurovision?

The UK has come last five times in the song contest – that’s out of 64 appearances, giving a last place rate of about 8%, or one in 13 contests. Four out of the five acts to have placed last were male solo acts. 

But while the dreaded ‘nul points’ phrase is regularly trotted out as we gear up for inevitable disappointment ahead of the contest (in the years before Sam Ryder that is) the UK has actually only been awarded no points on two occasions – first in 2003 with Liverpudlian duo Jemini and again in 2021 with James Newman. 

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