The Eurovision Song Contest community has been rocked by the loss two of its greatest icons this week.
Earlier this week, Katie Boyle, the four-time host of the Contest passed away aged 91.
Today, it was announced that Lys Assia, the winner of the very first Eurovision Song Contest has passed away at the age of 94 in Zurich, Switzerland.
Lys Assia won the very first Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. She represented Switzerland as one of seven entrants, each performing two songs, but her entry Refrain won, setting the Contest on the road to success.
She tried again in 1957, finishing eighth with L’Enfant Que J’Etais and again in 1958, coming second with Giorgio.
Switzerland didn’t win again until Celine Dion captured the Eurovision crown in 1988. Ms Assia tried to represent Switzerland again in 2012 and threw her hat in the ring again in 2013.
Lys Assia has appeared as a special guest at the Eurovision Song Contest several times as the first ever winner and was interviewed by host Petra Mede as part of the interval act in 2013 when she confessed to forgetting the lyrics of Refrain when she had to sing the song again after she won.
She remained a staunch supporter of the Eurovision Song Contest throughout its 62 year history, giving an interview at a special press conference in 2016 where she shared her views and expertise on the event, declaring it the best show in Europe.
Katie Boyle is Eurovision royalty in the United Kingdom, having hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1974.
She had the honour of calling ABBA on stage when they won the competition in Brighton. In a touching tribute, the European Broadcast Union created a special tribute video to the British hostess.
In 1968, she hosted the competition when Cliff Richard was expected to capture the Eurovision Song Contest title with Congratulations, only for Spain’s Massiel to snatch the title on the last set of votes when the Yugoslav jury gave nothing to Cliff and the United Kingdom.
Katie Boyle’s live presentation skills were tested to the limit before announcing ‘everything is alright’.
Metro sends our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of Lys Assia and Katie Boyle, and to the Eurovision community.
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