Don’t let it be said that Céline Dion doesn’t appreciate her Eurovision past.
Switzerland’s last Eurovision winner may have gone on to bigger and better things since her victory, but the contest still holds a special place in the Canadian’s heart, a fact which we were reminded of at Ireland’s IFTA TV awards on Friday night.
The country’s biggest small screen stars descended on Dublin’s swanky DoubleTree Hotel for the annual gala, which saw the likes of Mrs Brown and Daniel O’Donnell scoop up gongs.
But the “Ne partez pas sans moi” singer was only interested in one category — the Lifetime Achievement award.
This year’s prize was bestowed on the broadcaster Pat Kenny, a man best known for his work in current affairs and fronting The Late Late Show.
However, back in the day, he was also a dab hand at presenting light entertainment shows, including a certain song contest.
Kenny co-hosted Eurovision with Michelle Rocca in 1988, the year Céline secured her famous victory for Switzerland.
And he clearly left quite an impression on her, as she recorded a special message for the video package played before his acceptance speech.
— Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) (@IFTA) October 7, 2016
In the greeting, the Titanic warbler spoke of her fond memories of the song contest (and Pat). The full message will be broadcast during TV3’s coverage of the event on Sunday night.
Céline Dion and Eurovision
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Céline’s gotten nostalgic for Eurovision. In 2013, we saw her tell Jonathan Ross an amusing story about her husband René Angélil’s attitude towards her participation.
I felt like a horse. And let me elaborate on that. You can bet on the artist that you want the country to win. So my husband, who is a gambler, [Céline raises an eyebrow] bet on me. A lot of money, and I felt like I was a horse and I needed to race. I really needed to win that race. Did you see me? I was like this [Céline impersonates a jockey riding a horse]. I looked like a horse and I felt like a horse.
Sadly, René lost a long battle with cancer earlier this year. Tragically, Céline’s brother Daniel also died from the disease just days later.
After a period of mourning, the global superstar rallied, releasing a cover of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”. The chart-topping “Encore Un Soir” followed later in the summer, earning her a nomination for Francophone Female Artist of the Year at France’s NRJ Music Awards.