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1954 June 6-July 4

First Eurovision transmission
Photo: Radiodiffusion TÚlÚvision Franšaise

A 'summer season of European television exchanges' inaugurates Eurovision. Known among engineers as the 'Lille experiment'—the co-ordination centre is in the northern French city—links are established between eight countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands,  Switzerland, the UK and West Germany, with programmes also from the Vatican. The first programme shows the Narcissus Festival from Montreux, Switzerland. It is photographed here off-screen in Paris after conversion from 625 lines to 819 lines but then also had to be down-converted to 405 lines for the UK. Also included in the programme schedule are 10 live World Cup football matches played in Switzerland.


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Page updated 28 July 2008