Nul Points Paperback – 5 Oct 2006
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Tim Moore is a talented and very funny writer (Daily Telegraph)
He is a rare comic talent (The Times)
Hailed as the new Bill Bryson, he is in fact a writer of considerably more substance (Irish Times)
A hilariously funny book about the Eurovision Song Contest from our funniest travel writer.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The contest has given the English language the term »Nul Points«, despite the fact that, as Mr Moore rightly points out, the phrase has never been uttered on the Eurovision stage. He decided to limit his definition of »Nul-Pointers« to those who have failed to score under the current 12 points voting system (previous voting systems made it much easier to come away empty handed). This left him with a list of 14 acts to visit in their own counties, in chronological order, beginning with Norway 's Jahn Teigen and ending with the UK 's Jemini.
What had begun as a project based on the UK 's Woganesque derision of the ESC, fuelled by schadenfreude, quickly took on a life of its own as Tim Moore delved deeper into the lives and times of Eurovision and its »pointless« contestants. The book is meticulously researched and the author generously credits the Eurovision fan base as his best and most reliable source of material. From the 14 candidates, he finally visited 9. A meeting with Remediou Amaya [Spain 1983] could not be arranged and Çetin Alp had sadly passed away, drawing the final curtain on his 1983 debacle for Turkey (the book is dedicated to his memory). Wilfred ( Austria 1988), Thomas Förster ( Austria 1991) and Gunvor ( Switzerland 1998) all declined to talk about their Eurovision experiences.Read more ›
Rather than cover the contest as a whole Tim decided to delve deeper into the betes-noire of the contest, those much-maligned artists whose joy at national victory was brought suddenly and very publicly back down to earth with a bump when they scored nul points.
As any Eurovision statto will tell you there have been 34 entrants who have failed to trouble the scorers, although some can reasonably claim that the scoring system didn't help. Between 1971 and 1973 it wasn't possible to score nothing as every song, however bad, received some points and in the early to mid sixties there were so few points on offer than the non-scorers were always in good (or bad) company.
The eminently-readable "Nul Points" follows Tim Moore's attempts to interview the last 14 non-scorers from Jahn Teigen in 1974 to our very own Jemini in 2003. Out of patriotic loyalty, I actually decided to read the Jemini chapter first and then the rest of the book. Notwithstanding the rights and wrongs of what may or may not have happened on that fateful night in the Riga's Skonto Olympic Arena, one thing that strikes me from reading the book is that Jemini seemed totally unprepared for the international arena they were about to enter. Akin to giving a Christian a plastic knife to take on the lions, there seems to have been very little in the way of a support mechanism for them in their Euro-adventure.Read more ›
As a nation, the UK - a large, mainly gay, following excepted - loved to scoff at the Eurovision for as long as I can remember but still tunes in nonetheless. Moore sometimes lapses into this, which is all too easily done, and he is a bit too pleased with himself at times, but he is also genuinely witty (this man write for the Torygraph??) and some of what he unearths is really insightful. In its way, this book tells you more about modern Europe than most academic tomes.
As we learn along the way, the scoring system by which national juries give 12 points to their favourite song down to 1 for the 10th favourite came in in the mid-70s. Prior to that, an arcane system meant that loads of songs scored zero, while for a few years it was impossible to do so. The scoring goes on almost as long as the songs these days, which means a long drawn-out torture at the bottom of the table while the winner usually emerges long before the end.
It is worth noting that 'nul points' is a misnomer. Nobody is scored zero, they just never get mentioned. And in correct French it would be a singular 'nul point' in any case. Moreover, getting nul points doesn't mean that your song was the worst one, merely that nobody thought it among the ten best. Most of the nul-pointers were no worse than many others around them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I suspect this book is quite different from the original concept. Moore intended to visit the Eurovision losers, get some funny stories, and sing their song as a larky duet. Read morePublished 14 months ago by allwillbewell
Very enjoyable book. You don't have to be a Eurovision fan to read this book but I think it helpsif you are.Published 16 months ago by Shaun
Another funny and entertaining book by Tim Moore. Even if the subject matter isn't necessarily appealing to you, Tim finds stories behind most of those humiliated at Eurovision... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Rich
I just love Tim's writing and this book has been the perfect read for my commute to workPublished on 29 Jun. 2014 by green canary
The British may pretend to have no time for Eurovision but it's always the Brits, I notice, behind the books, theatre pieces and TV documentaries about Eurovision. Read morePublished on 27 Dec. 2008 by Vauxhall1964
As a long-standing fan of Tim Moore with a all-time loathing for the European Song Contest (ESC), I approached this book with trepidation. I needn't have done. Read morePublished on 21 Sept. 2007 by derekmas
Well I have not read any books by this author before, but am a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest.
I was really excited by the set up of this book. Read more
Having recently finished reading the excellent Spanish Steps by Tim Moore (possibly the funniest travel book I've ever read), I really wanted to like this too. Read morePublished on 26 Jun. 2007 by N. Griffiths