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Wednesday, June 2, 1999 Published at 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK


Sweet smell of Eurovision success

Charlotte Nilsson: Shocked by her success

Hot off the stage of this year's Eurovision Song Contest, winner Charlotte Nilsson from Sweden is still glowing from her success.

But despite being heavily tipped as a pre-contest winner, Nilsson says her triumph has come as a huge surprise.

"I could never have expected to win, it's absolutely fantastic. In Sweden, the newspapers said I looked so sad to have won but it was because I was so shocked," she told BBC Radio 5 Live's Nicky Campbell.

Nilsson came top of the annual contest with Take Me To Your Heaven - a song which has been compared to Abba's Eurovision winner Waterloo.

[ image: The Abba girls: Nilssen is candid about their influence]
The Abba girls: Nilssen is candid about their influence
She is proud of comparisons with her Swedish predecessors.

"Their sound has been a help and there are comparisons to be made. Of course, Abba are still hugely influential in Sweden and they are big in the whole of Europe right now," she said.

Nonetheless, even with such a strong pedigree behind her, Nilsson found waiting in the wings for the competition result almost too much to bear.

"During the competition I was all right but on the voting I was so nervous, I felt sick. It was terrible," she explained.

Charlotte Nilsson: "There were no hard feelings"
She gave a glimpse into the backroom atmosphere among competitors. She believed relationships were as cordial as they could be, under the circumstances.

"I didn't really speak to any of the other competitors during the week but it's a competition and of course everyone there wants to win," she said.

[ image: Precious: British entry came 12th]
Precious: British entry came 12th
But when asked what she thought of the British entry, Say It Again by Precious, which ranked 12th, Nilsson said she was not surprised it did not do better.

Now the show is over, life for the 24-year-old is set never to be quite the same again.

In the past she has modelled and acted in a soap opera, as well pursuing a singing career.

But despite having many different strings to her bow, she is single-minded about her future.

"I don't want to call myself a soap opera star. I am a singer," she said.

Now now her plans simply involve going back to Sweden to concentrate on a future album and European tour.

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