By Humphrey Carter IF it is proven that General Franco rigged the vote so that Spain beat Sir Cliff Richard to win the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest, Sir Cliff told the Bulletin yesterday that he would like to know. “If there is evidence that I was in fact the winner, there won't be a happier person on the planet.” Sir Cliff is currently enjoying a holiday on the island staying with close friends and guests attending yesterday's Celebrity Lunch at the Son Vida Hotel were treated to a special surprise when the award-winning and chart-topping singer breezed across the terrace to join the pre-lunch cocktail party.

And he too was in for a surprise when he was reunited with British resident Pamela Pardoe who was one of the extras in Sir Cliff's hit film Summer Holiday.

General Franco's alleged Eurovision skullduggery was only recently revealed in a TV documentary in Spain and, if the claims are true, Sir Cliff admits he would love to be able to go out on stage and say that he won Eurovision. Sir Cliff's hit song Congratulations was beaten by Massiel's La La La “it's never bothered me that much, my single went on to out sell hers 10 to 1 but, if they send me the trophy I'd probably have a copy made and then hand it back,” Sir Cliff, who has 14 British number one hits, a record only beaten by Elvis Presley, joked. “I've met Massiel on numerous occasions over the years and she's a lovely person, I doubt she knew what was going on around her, what Franco was up to if it's all true,” he added. “68 was a good year, it's an important date to have won Eurovision. When I start my 50th anniversary tour in Britain this November, it would be quite nice to tell my fans that I did actually won it,” he said. Ironically, Sir Cliff did not watch last Saturday night's Eurovision Song Contest he says that the event has not developed as he and the music industry hoped 40 years ago. “We all had a vision of Eurovision becoming a platform for pop singing and writing in all European countries. Britain has always taken it seriously, just look at the top people we have entered over the years such as Lulu, Sandy Shaw, myself - I don't think our song this year deserved to come second to last. But, the contest has moved in a different direction and it's sadly become a bit of a joke. “I am proud to have taken part when I did, it helped me and many others sell more records, it used to have a real purpose. A more serious approach needs to be taken I think.” But, Sir Cliff is very philosophical about Franco having apparently bought the votes and the contest in order to boost Spain's image overseas and boost his regime.

But, if after 40 years, congratulations are in order, Sir Cliff has recently said he will send Massiel a signed copy of the song.