Ronnie Hazlehurst

Born: March 13th, 1928, Dukinfield (United Kingdom)
Died: October 1st, 2007, Saint Peter Port, Guernsey (United Kingdom)
Nationality: British

Ronnie Hazlehurst did not finish secondary school and worked in a cotton factory, while earning some extra money by playing the trumpet in a jazz combo. Later, he gave up his factory job and became a freelance musician. In 1961, he was appointed staff arranger at the BBC. In 1968, he took over from Harry Rabinowitz as musical director of BBC’s Light Entertainment department. He composed and arranged the music to countless television programmes, including ‘Are you being served?’, ‘Blankety blank’, ‘Yes, Minister’, and ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’.

No other British conductor took part in the Eurovision Song Contest more often than Ronnie Hazlehurst. He was musical director of three editions of the festival which were held in the UK (1974, 1977, 1982). In 1977, he conducted the entries of the UK (famously wearing a bowler hat and using a rolled-up umbrella instead of a baton) and West Germany. After that, Hazlehurst returned to the contest as the conductor of the United Kingdom entry on six more occasions (1982, 1987 to 1989, 1991, 1992). Four of Hazlehurst’s seven participations resulted in a second place on the scoreboard for the British entry.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Ronnie Hazlehurst will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1977: Telegram
1977: Rock bottom
1982: One step further
1987: Only the light
1988: Go
1989: Why do I always get it wrong
1991: A message to your heart
1992: One step out of time

Musical director
1974: Brighton
1977: London
1982: Harrogate