Where are the UK's Eurovision winners now?

It's been 27 years since the UK last tasted victory at the Eurovision Song Contest. But what are our five former winning acts up to now?

1981 Eurovision Song Contest winners Bucks Fizz. Clockwise, from the top left, the members of the group are Bobby G, Mike Nolan (both sporting Union Jack t-shirts), Cheryl Baker, and Jay Aston who won the competition with the song 'Making Your Mind Up'.   (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
What have Bucks Fizz and the other UK winners done since Eurovision? (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

As Olly Alexander warms up his vocal cords for this weekend's Eurovision Song Contest final in Malmo, UK fans are hoping he could finally bring home a win after decades in the wilderness.

The Years & Years singer would join a hallowed list of five UK champions if he placed first on Saturday night, something that Sam Ryder got tantalisingly close to in 2022.

As we look ahead to the weekend's competition in Sweden, cast your mind back over the five acts who have managed what has been out of reach for more recent UK entrants and find out what they have been up to since.

Grand Prix Eurovision 1967 in the Wiener Hofburg. Singer Sandie Shaw with Orchester. 8 April 1967. (Photo by Votava/brandstaetter images via Getty Images)
Sandie Shaw was our first winner. (Votava/brandstaetter images via Getty Images)

The UK's first-ever Eurovision winner was Sandie Shaw, who stormed to victory with Puppet on a String in Vienna.

It became a huge international hit and Shaw continued her successful recording career for years afterwards. While one of her singles, Heaven Knows I'm Missing Him Now, did not chart, it was the inspiration behind The Smiths' Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now.

Shaw won a legal battle to establish ownership of her entire recording catalogue, and was also awarded an MBE for services to music in 2017.

Her opinions on Eurovision have varied over the years – at times she is said she is proud of her success, but in other interviews she has criticised the contest for not having a good standard of music. In 2012, Shaw joined an Amnesty International campaign to end human rights abuses in Azerbaijan, the host country of that year's Eurovision Song Contest.

The English singer Lulu winner on the Eurovision Song Contest with the song
Lulu shared her win with three other countries. (Cover/Getty Images).

There were just two years to wait until the UK's second win, although Lulu had to share her victory for Boom Bang-a-Bang in a four-way tie with Spain, France and the Netherlands.

She made no secret of her dislike for the song, once telling John Peel: "I know it's a rotten song, but I won, so who cares?"

Lulu had married Bee Gees star Maurice Gibb just before competing at Eurovision, even postponing their honeymoon for the contest in Madrid, but by 1973 they had divorced.

She might not have liked her winning entry, but it certainly didn't hurt her already successful career as she went on to record a Bond theme in 1974 for The Man with the Golden Gun, appeared in various stage shows on top of her recording career, and made a comeback in the 90s when she famously collaborated with Take That on Relight My Fire.

Lulu has remained in the public eye, releasing albums all the way up to 2015, and in 2023 she competed in The Masked Singer disguised as Piece of Cake. She has been touring in 2024 to mark her 75th birthday.

British Pop group Brotherhood of Man returning in triumph to Londons Heathrow Airport, having just won the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest. From l-r: Lee Sheridan, Martin lee, Nicky Stevens, Sandra Stevens   (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Brotherhood of Man were the first UK group to win. (PA Images via Getty Images)

Brotherhood of Man were the first group to win for the UK at Eurovision, with Martin Lee, Lee Sheriden, Nicky Stevens and Sandra Stevens performing Save Your Kisses for Me in The Hague.

After their success at Eurovision, their management decided the group should change to more of a pop sound in line with their winning hit, but it wasn't immediately successful although they did make a comeback with hits including Angelo and Figaro later in the 70s.

The band briefly replaced one member when Sheriden took a break in the mid-80s to study, but they later reformed and toured during the 80s, 90s and 00s, even teaming up with Bucks Fizz at one point.

Although the group announced they had retired from touring at the end of 2022, they stressed that they were still very much together as a four.

'Bucks Fizz', winner of Eurovision Song Contest 1981   (Photo by Sobli/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Bucks Fizz in their original line-up. (Sobli/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Thanks to their skirt-swiping dance and the hugely catchy Making Your Mind Up, Bucks Fizz are probably our most memorable Eurovision act.

Following their victory in Dublin, Bobby G, Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston, who had formed for the contest, became one of the biggest-selling groups of the 80s and had further number ones with The Land of Make Believe and My Camera Never Lies.

But despite their chart success, the group were plagued by some incredible bad luck, beginning with a serious coach crash after a 1984 concert in Newcastle which injured all four singers as well as the crew on board. Nolan was in a coma and even now he suffers effects including epilepsy and memory loss, which prompted him to set up the head injury charity HeadFirst with Baker.

David van Day peforming with Sue Moxley at the Havering Show, Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch, Essex.
David Van Day performed under the group's name after a line-up change. (PA/Alamy)

Cracks began to show in the group and in 1985, Aston left, selling a damning tale of the stars' fall-outs to the tabloids. It prompted further exits and replacements with a total of 16 performers to date having been a part of Bucks Fizz, but when former Dollar star David Van Day was signed up it sparked a complicated legal battle.

At one point, all the original members had left while Van Day and other replacements continued to perform as Bucks Fizz, causing issues when the other stars wanted back in. Eventually, Van Day's act became David Van Day's Bucks Fizz Show, Bobby G reformed Bucks Fizz with some of the replacement singers, and Baker, Nolan and Aston made a comeback as The Fizz.

Katrina and The Waves winning the Eurovision Song Contest at The Point Depot, Dublin, 02/05/1997. (Photo by Independent News and Media/Getty Images)
Katrina and The Waves made a comeback to win in 1997. (Independent News and Media/Getty Images)

It's nearing 30 years since we last won at Eurovision, with Katrina and the Waves still the reigning champions in UK terms after coming first in Dublin with Love Shine a Light.

The group were best known for their 80s hit Walking on Sunshine and while their Eurovision offering might not have been quite such a classic, it succeeded in the voting where many other UK acts have failed before and since.

Lead singer Katrina Leskanich said in 2020 that despite having lived in the UK since she was a teenager, she had faced opposition over being a US national fronting the act and was even asked if she could change her accent.

In 1998 she quit the group and while The Waves tried to find a new vocalist, they eventually decided to disband in 1999. They briefly joined forces again in 2011 to put a stop to a Republican US presidential candidate using Walking on Sunshine in her campaign.

Leskanich launched a solo career after splitting from the group and was still releasing music as recently as 2023.