West End star and BBC Radio 2 presenter Michael Ball initially feared Eurovision would ruin his career, but he couldn’t have been more wrong…
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- 11:15, 13 May 2022
- Updated11:16, 13 May 2022
It's been 30 years since Michael Ball entered the Eurovision Contest, where he feared representing the UK would derail his whole career.
Way back in 1992, the now 59-year-old was approached by the BBC to perform at that year's annual competition, but the theatre star wasn't too excited over the prospect.
Michael said bosses had to talk him into taking part after he told them the gig was 'career suicide.'
Speaking to Gaby Roslin on her podcast, he said: "The BBC came to me and said, ‘We've got this idea for Eurovision, we want to redo it, we want you to do all the songs, you'll go on to Wogan every week and present them, and the nation will choose which one they want to go forward to represent."
Michael Ball with Terry Wogan in 1992
He added: "This was ‘92, so I'm thinking, 'Eurovision – is it a bit naff?' It's fun, I mean, I love it… but is it a career move or is it career suicide?"
Despite his hesitation, Michael went on to represent the UK at the Eurovision contest and it actually worked out extremely well for his personal image and career.
What song did Michael perform and where did he place?
Michael pictured at the 1992 annual contest
Michael looks back on his memories at Eurovision with a positive outlook
Ian West/PA Wire)
Michael decided to perform his rendition of One Step Out of Time and audiences at the time were evidently impressed with his performance.
He ended up landing in second place during the final, tallying a total of 139 points, losing only to Ireland's Linda Martin.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, he recalled the moment he nearly one the contest: "It was nearly a triumph. I did my own choreography…I think I did my own hair."
Upon looking at footage of himself during Eurovision, he remarked: "Isn't time a cruel mistress?"
Michael went on to star in Hairspray, as well as other hit musicals on the West End
And while he initially had second thoughts about performing, he now looks back at it with a much more positive outlook: "It took me away from just being a musical theatre person.
"The camaraderie was brilliant, working with Terry Wogan was fantastic. The only downside was having done the song, I'd forgotten about the voting.
"There were cameras in your face and I was just 'I want to drink vodka'."
The UK's Eurovision history
Bucks Fizz at Eurovision 1981
While Michael came a respectable second, the UK does not have a strong history of placing high among the European countries.
After taking part in 64 Eurovisions since 1957, the UK has only won five times.
The last win came in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves' Love Shine A Light.
The first win was in 1967 when Sandie Shaw took home the top prize with her bop Puppet on a String.
One of the most memorable wins came when two members of Bucks Fizz whipped off their skirts to wow the audience during a performance of Making Your Mind Up.
The stunt was enough to seal the deal and the fourpiece were crowned that year's winner.
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