Fifty years ago, Dana Rosemary Scallon, an 18-year-old girl headed to Amsterdam to perform the song “All Kinds Of Everything” as 6th Irish representative at Eurovision Song Contest. The favourite of the 15th edition was UK’s hopeful Mary Hopkin with “Knock, Knock Who’s There?” and the show also featured Julio Iglesias and Katja Ebstein, but Dana managed to win the show unlike the odds and she was the first Irish winner at Eurovision Song Contest. In order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her victory a documentary “Dana the Original Derry Girl” prepared by BBC & RTE will be aired on BBC One Northern Ireland on Monday 11th May at 23:45 CET
The documentary is a look back to her incredible life story, it will be showcasing her victory of Eurovision Song Contest 1970 and the path of her becoming a national hero as she managed to unite people in the time of the violent conflict of the Troubles (three-decade conflict between nationalists and unionists).
In an interview for Express in 2014 reflecting on her Eurovision experience, Dana stated: “I won a talent competition which earned me a recording contract, and the secretary of that record company entered me for the Irish National Song Contest. I came second in the 1969 competition but won a year later with All Kinds Of Everything, which then took me to victory at Eurovision, beating the likes of Julio Iglesias and Mary Hopkin. It brought Ireland together, as I was from the north but representing the whole country at a very difficult time. When I returned home to Derry, thousands of people lifted me across their shoulders and into the Guildhall. And later when I got back to the Bogside flats where I lived with my family, friends and neighbours gathered in the courtyard to sing to me. It was very touching.”
The documentary “Dana the Original Derry Girl” will also include her pop and TV career in the ’70s; her marriage; moving to Alabama, her involvement with catholic music, performance for Pope John Paul II, before entering the Irish politics in the ’90s. It will also feature Dana’s reflections on things which happened at the height of her career.
What do you think about this documentary as a form of celebrating Dana’s 50th anniversary? Let us know in the comments below and at our social media links!