…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
Cheryl Baker, one fourth of the group Bucks Fizz who won the Eurovision in 1981, believes that Sam Ryder’s impressive performance at last year’s competition has reignited the UK’s passion for the event.
Ryder, a 33-year-old singer-songwriter from Essex, finished in second place behind Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, winning over a legion of new fans with his charismatic performance.
Despite Ukraine usually hosting the event the following year, the UK stepped in due to ongoing conflict with Russia.
Baker believes that Ryder has “changed the face of Eurovision in the UK” and made it “cool again.”
Baker won the Eurovision in 1981 with her group Bucks Fizz, which catapulted them to worldwide fame with tours across the globe.
After their triumph, their song went to number one in nine countries, and Baker went on to launch a successful career as a TV presenter.
She currently performs with bandmates Mike Nolan and Jay Aston under the name The Fizz.
Reflecting on her own Eurovision win and how it changed her life, Baker said it was “still the biggest day of my life” and gave her opportunities she had never had before.
She met her husband Steve while touring, fell in love, got married, and had two children.
Baker is set to make a cameo in an upcoming Eurovision-themed episode of BBC soap EastEnders.
Baker rates the UK’s chances at this year’s Eurovision, admitting there is stiff competition, but believes Mae Muller’s entry I Wrote A Song is good, and she will perform it brilliantly.
She also notes that the host country generally does well, and predicts Muller could be in the top five.
Cheryl Baker’s comments about Sam Ryder and his impact on the UK’s passion for the Eurovision competition are significant because they highlight the influence a single performer can have on the public’s interest in the event.
Baker’s own experience winning the Eurovision and how it changed her life serves as a reminder of the magnitude of the competition for the participants.
It is also interesting to note how Baker’s career evolved after her Eurovision win, from a successful pop career to a TV presenter and performer in a reunited version of her old band.
Her predictions about the UK’s chances at this year’s Eurovision also show her continued interest in the competition and her understanding of what makes a good entry.