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Eurovision Song Contest 1988

Eurovision Song Contest 1988
NameEurovision Song Contest
Final30 April 1988
PresentersPat Kenny
Michelle Rocca
ConductorNoel Kelehan
DirectorDeclan Lowney
HostIreland RTÉ
VenueRDS Simmonscourt Pavilion
Dublin, Ireland
"Ne partez pas sans moi"
VoteEach country awarded 12, 10, 8-1 points to their 10 favourite songs
IntervalHothouse Flowers performing "Don't Go"
OpeningJohnny Logan performing "Hold Me Now"
Tag1Participating participants
Col2#ffc20e|tag2=Countries who have participated in the past but did not this year

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The Eurovision Song Contest 1988 was the 33rd Eurovision Song Contest and was held on 30 April 1988 in Dublin. The presenters were Pat Kenny and Michelle Rocca. Future international superstar, the French-Canadian Celine Dion, then only famous in the French-speaking world, was the winner of this Eurovision with the song, "Ne partez pas sans moi", composed by Swiss-Turkish composer Atilla Şereftuğ with lyrics by Nella Martinetti. This was the second victory, and as of 2011, the last for Switzerland. The first one was in 1956: "Refrain", performed by Lys Assia. It was also the last time a song in French won the Contest, the language having dominated the event in earlier years.

Radio Telefís Éireann (RTÉ), as the host broadcaster for this edition of the contest, decided that the show's production style needed to be revamped in order to attract and sustain a younger audience. They employed Declan Lowney (who was notable for being a director of music videos and youth programming) as director for this edition, and he would also direct the interval act which included the popular Irish rock group Hothouse Flowers which was filmed in 11 countries around Europe and was the most expensive music video ever produced in Ireland at that time. The traditional scoreboard was replaced with 2 giant Vidiwalls located on either side of the stage, which also projected live images of the performers from the green room, and a new computer-generated scoreboard was used. The stage itself, conceived by Paula Farrell under chief production designer Michael Grogan, was also the largest and most elaborate ever constructed for a Eurovision. To compensate for the fact that the vast stage took up most of the room in what is really an average size exhibition hall, the Director deliberately darkened the hall where the audience was located and refused to use wide angled shots of the audience, in order to create the illusion of the venue being bigger than it actually was.

Cyprus was drawn second to compete in Dublin and had selected the song 'Thimame' sung by Yiannis Dimitrou as their entry. However, at a late stage CyBC decided that the song was ineligible to represent them as it had been entered into the 1984 Cypriot selection, where it had finished in 3rd place. This was classed as a breach of the Cypriot rules of selecting their entry at this time (and an infringement of the Eurovision rules) and so Cyprus withdrew from the 1988 contest. It was quite a last-minute decision as the song was advertised in the Radio Times information about the preview programme of the contest. The song also appears on the Norwegian record release of the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest entries.

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