• Dale Roberts

50 year anniversary of Australians competing at Eurovision



On the 25th of March 1972, The New Seekers stepped on at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh to represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision.


Among the group were two Australians, Peter Doyle and Marty Kristian, who became the first artists from Down Under to compete at the coveted Contest.


The group with their song 'Beg, Steal or Borrow' (written by Australian Tony Cole) would finish runner-up at Eurovision behind Vicky Leandros' 'Après toi' from Luxembourg.



This position of 2nd place would set a benchmark for Australians at Eurovision that has yet to be beaten (but equaled twice).


The result was reported here in Australia as this Canberra Times clipping shows:


"Edinburgh, Sunday (AAP) - Luxembourg won the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest in Edinburgh last night, in a televised show watched by 400 million viewers, the Associated Press reported.


The winner was Greek-born Vicky Leandros with a ballad called 'Apres Toi' (After You). Britain was second with the Anglo-Australian pop group The New Seekers singing 'Beg, Steal or Borrow'.


Germany came third with Mary Roos singing the ballad 'Nur die Liebe laesst uns leben' (Only Love Let's Us Live).


Luxembourg led in the field of 18 entrant countries from early in the voting."


The New Seekers themselves had formed after the disbanding of the hugely successful Australian band The Seekers in the 1960s.


Peter Doyle was from Melbourne and made his name in Australia during the 1960s releasing 10 singles with solid chart success. Like many Australian musicians at the time, he moved to the UK in the 1970s for his career, eventually making his way home in the late 80s.


He continued to perform and make music into the early 90s before retiring and unfortunately passing away from throat cancer in 2001.


Peter Doyle and Marty Kristian

Marty Kristian was born in Germany to Latvian parents and migrated to Australian when he was a toddler. He grew up in Melbourne and started his solo career with a number of chart hits in Australia in the 1960s.


He moved to the United Kingdom to further music career, but he also met his wife and settled in the country where he remains to this day. His son, James Kristian, is a well known actor who has appeared on British and Australian television.


A history of Australians at Eurovision


1972

The New Seekers - 'Beg Steal of Borrow'

United Kingdom - 2nd place

(Australian members: Peter Doyle and Marty Kristian)


1974

Olivia Newton John - 'Long Live Love'

United Kingdom - 4th place


1975

The Shadows - 'Let Me Be The One'

United Kingdom - 2nd place

(Australian member: John Farrar)


1996

Gina G - 'Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit'

United Kingdom - 8th place


2006

Texas Lightning - 'No No Never'

Germany - 14th place

(Australian member: Jane Comerford)


2015

Genealogy - 'Face the Shadow'

Armenia - 16th place

(Australian member: Mary-Jean O’Doherty)


2015

Guy Sebastian - 'Tonight Again'

Australia - 5th place


2016

Dami Im - 'Sound of Silence'

Australia - 2nd place


2017

Isaiah Firebrace - 'Don't Come Easy'

Australia - 9th place


2017

Anja Nissen - 'Where I Am'

Denmark - 20th place


2018

Jessica Mauboy - 'We Got Love'

Australia - 20th place


2019

Kate Miller Heidke - 'Zero Gravity'

Australia - 9th place


2020

Montaigne - 'Don't Break Me'

Australia - Contest cancelled


2021

Montaigne - 'Technicolour'

Australia - 14th in semi-final


2022

Sheldon Riley - 'Not the Same'

Australia - TBC


Honorary mention:


Johnny Logan

1980 and 1987 Eurovision winner


Johnny Logan was born in Frankston in Australia and lived in the country until he was 3-years-old. Unfortunately he was not a citizen of Australia when he competed but he and his family have always maintained ties with the nation.


Read more about the Australian who competed for other countries at Eurovision here.