Dana – The Original Derry Girl, BBC 4, BBC iPlayer.



I can’t remember watching Dana (Rosemary Scallon) winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970, singing All Kinds of Everything, but I was only seven or eight. I would have married her, Catholic, and cute as a button.  She was eighteen and sitting her A-levels and became Ireland’s first Euro winner. Instant celebrity, the government send a plane to Amsterdam to bring her home to an adoring crowd. A guy in a milk float took her home after she sneaked out of a teacher’s house, who proposed himself as her manager. She became Ireland’s version of Lulu appearing on Top of the Pops and every twat show.

When she became an independent MEP in the European Parliament, aligning herself with the Christian Coalition parties, they sang All Kinds of Everything  back to her. That’s fame.

She also ran as an independent candidate hoping to be elected President of Ireland twice.

She also song for the Pope twice, John Paul II, has a certain ring to it.

Had an operation to fix a growth on her vocal cords that threatened her careers (plural).

In the seventies she also nearly became an American, moving to Alabama with her husband, Damien Scallon and children. They ran a religious network in which Dana performed.

Dana’s sister and husband tried to steal copyright to her music and almost succeeded. Her brother was tried and found not guilty of two charges on indecent assault.

There’s the good, the bad, and the ugly here. All Kinds of Everything indeed.  Well worth watching. You can turn the sound down for Something’s Cookin’ in the Kitchen and other such hits. Northern Ireland has given us enough Troubles. The programme ends with Dana going back to her roots, joining a local choir, in the Guildhall in Derry. Sweet, very, very sweet.