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Last Updated: Monday, 7 May 2007, 08:27 GMT 09:27 UK
Eurovision Talking Shop: Bucks Fizz
Bucks Fizz in 1981
The original line-up was Cheryl Baker, Bobby G, Jay Aston and Mike Nolan
Bucks Fizz became one of the UK's biggest pop acts after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981 with their famous skirt-ripping dance routine.

Their song, Making Your Mind Up, went to number one in nine countries, and was followed by hit singles including My Camera Never Lies and Land of Make Believe.

Singer Jay Aston left in 1985, a year after the band's tour bus was involved in a horrific crash which seriously injured founder member Mike Nolan.

She was replaced by 21-year-old Shelley Preston, who still tours with original members Nolan and Cheryl Baker as The Original Bucks Fizz.

The group discuss their Eurovision memories and how they reunited for Peter Kay's Comic Relief video.

What are your memories of the Eurovision Song Contest?

Cheryl: It was just manic. We were only put together about eight weeks before the competition and we had to record the single, learn the routine, sort out our outfits, do all the press and promotion for it. It was really non-stop.

What was the atmosphere in Dublin like, where you scored your famous victory?

Mike: We were very protected over there. We had police guards following us everywhere.

Bucks Fizz in 2007
Cheryl, Mike and Shelley tour as The Original Bucks Fizz
Q: Was that because of the security situation in Ireland?

Cheryl: It was because we were British. The IRA had a big presence at the time and I think there'd been some kind of attempt on the Prime Minister's life so we had to stay in a separate hotel from everybody. We would drive through red lights and around all the other traffic, as if we were the Queen. And stupidly, because we were young, we thought it was exciting.

Did you think you would win?

Mike: My attitude when I got there was that we would walk it. But when you rehearse for five days you get to know all the other songs, and by the night I was convinced we would come fifth.
Cheryl: We won by four points - but only on the last votes.

And was it a gift or a curse?

Cheryl: A gift, definitely.
Mike: Sometimes you think: "I wish to God I'd never done it" because people give you a hard time. But in the end, if it hadn't have happened we wouldn't be together.

Bucks Fizz
The band's original line-up scored nine top 20 hits
Shelley, you beat 1,400 other people to win a place in Bucks Fizz. What was it like to suddenly be part of this famous pop group?

Shelley: The first thing we did was Wogan, which was the biggest TV show around. I'd been kept in hiding for four or five weeks so people couldn't find out who the new girl was.
Cheryl: Even her parents didn't know.
Shelley: Nobody was allowed to know because if any paper had printed who the new girl was, Wogan was going to cancel. I remember they put a blanket over my head, and carried me in past all the photographers so people couldn't see who it was.

It sounds a bit like Pop Idol.

Shelley: Well, I did my apprenticeship back to front. When I left the band I went off and learnt about songwriting and did backing vocals for people like INXS and Michael Bolton and went on tour with Guns N' Roses.

Bucks Fizz in 2007
Bucks Fizz reformed in 2005 for a 1980s retro tour
Do you still do the skirt-ripping routine when you perform Making Your Mind Up?

Shelley: Yes, but we had to rework it because it's just the three of us and Mike has to take both our skirts off.
Mike: It's hard because if you pull with both arms at the same time you kind of grunt involuntarily. So you can't sing.
Cheryl: We could have pulled our own skirts off.
Shelley: Can't we just take his trousers off?

You were reunited with the other two Bucks Fizz members for this year's Comic Relief video with the Proclaimers. How did that come about?

Cheryl: They approached each of us individually. I hadn't seen Jay since she left in 1985. It was quite difficult. I just didn't know what to say. But we actually got on fine after a while.

What do you think of Scooch's chances in this year's Eurovision?

Cheryl: I didn't think they were the best song.
Shelley: They're a novelty act, aren't they?
Mike: It doesn't deserve to win but it wouldn't surprise me if they went off and won - it's that bad.

Bucks Fizz release a Greatest Hits CD and DVD on 14 May. They were talking to BBC News entertainment reporter Mark Savage.


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