ABBA’s Eurovision 50th anniversary celebrated at the BBC
Image © BBC

BBC say ‘Thank You For The Music’ with a range of programmes commemorating ABBA’s 1974 Eurovision win

This spring sees the 50th anniversary of ABBA’s Eurovision Song Contest victory and the BBC will broadcast a range of programmes on BBC Two, Radio 2, BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer.

Reflecting ABBA’s special relationship with British music fans, BBC Two and BBC Pop Music TV present When Abba Came To Britain, a documentary film which will be broadcast in early April as part of a dedicated Saturday night of ABBA specials on BBC Two.

Untransmitted Interviews

When Abba Came To Britain looks at the magical time Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Björn spent in the UK from 1974 to 1982 and examines their ground-breaking legacy, from Eurovision to ABBA Voyage.

Featuring previously untransmitted interviews with ABBA, this documentary takes an affectionate look at the ongoing love affair between the UK and the Swedish supergroup.

Waterloo Win

After winning the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo in 1974, the band would eventually find global stardom, but their relationship with the UK remains unique.

The BBC was there at the beginning at the Brighton Dome in 1974 and at the end of their initial chart-busting career in 1982, with what was thought to be the band’s last appearance on BBC One’s The Late, Late Breakfast Show.

Through interviews with those who witnessed the ABBA story unfold, the film will include a wealth of BBC and non-BBC performances, as well as long forgotten news footage, which all show how ABBAmania took hold in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s. The story is brought up to date with the quartet’s return to Britain in 2022, choosing to launch their ground-breaking ‘comeback’ concert – ABBA Voyage – in London.

Read More: Top 40 ABBA Songs

Special Relationship

Rachel Davies, Commissioning Editor, BBC Pop Music TV says: “When ABBA came to Britain is a love letter from this country to the beloved Swedish super-group, celebrating the special relationship we have as a nation with Benny, Björn, Agnetha and Anni-Frid. We focus on the stories of individuals who were lucky to be caught up in their world. A must watch for pop fans of all ages.”

When Abba Came to Britain is a Wise Owl Films production for BBC Two and BBC Pop Music TV.

Mark Robinson of Wise Owl Films says: “There can be fewer bands, if any, who have straddled generations of British music fans in a more impressive way than ABBA. This film shows the enduring and often emotional impact that ABBA have left on British fans and musicians across the decades.”

Read More: ABBA The Albums

Other BBC highlights include:

More ABBA at the BBC, featuring a performance of So Long on Top of the Pops that hasn’t been broadcast since 1974.

ABBA in Switzerland: 1979 Special: In a show originally broadcast in 1979 on BBC One, ABBA star in their first European TV special.

The Joy of ABBA: This documentary, first broadcast in 2013, explores how they raised the bar for pop music as a form and made us fall in love with the sound of Swedish melancholy.

Radio 2 launches a vote to discover the listeners’ Ultimate Abba Song.

Eras: ABBA: a brand new series of Eras dedicated to the band and Sophie Ellis-Bextor: ABBA, My Supergroup. (BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds)

Read More: The phenomenon of Swedish pop

As announced recently, BBC One will broadcast the feature documentary, ABBA: Against The Odds later in spring. The programme will be produced by multi-award winning documentary makers Rogan Productions (Freddie Mercury: The Final Act), directed by BAFTA and Emmy Award-winner James Rogan and distributed worldwide by BBC Studios.

For information about this year’s coverage of Eurovision on the BBC click here

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