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I'm the same age as the total number of Eurovision Song Contests! My first rather hazy Eurovision memory is of listening to 'Sing Little Birdie' (UK 1959) on 'Children's Favourites' on the Light Programme. I can just about remember Matt Monro (1964) and then things fall into place rather more strongly, as I got older. I remember avidly listening to the Radio Two 'Song for Europe' preview programmes armed with my reel-to-reel tape recorder to make an off-air recording (unfortunately I've now lost most of these).

I was just at the right age to enjoy the glory days of UK Eurovision success with Cliff, Lulu etc. and always watched the tv shows that the 'Songs for Europe' were featured in weekly, as well as the Eurovision Preview shows - even when, in later years, they migrated from a BBC prime time slot to the graveyard of Sunday afternoons.

My proper Eurovision 'fandom' I suppose began with the acquisition of a computer and the internet - and finding and chatting with like-minded people. It's quite incredible to look back even just to that time of slow dial-up connections and slow computers, and realise just how far things have progressed in such a relatively short time.

I went to the 2003 Contest in Riga and to the Congratulations 50th Anniversary show in Copenhagen in 2005. I've also been to Melodifestivalen in Sweden four times. Having taken early retirement last year, I decided that 2011 should mean a trip to Eurovision once more and I've been extremely lucky to receive UK Fan Accreditation through the BBC. I'm hoping to be able to provide updates on the Blog on a daily basis to keep you up to date on the happenings over there.

I was just thinking - there's a world of difference from recording a few songs with a microphone stuck in front of the radio (while telling Mum & Dad they'd got to keep very quiet) to using the computer to make a dvd of all the previews of the songs from this years contest. The march of technology!