Bucks Fizz: The mind-boggling history of what happened to the group since winning Eurovision

16 May 2019, 13:15 | Updated: 16 May 2019, 14:45

Bucks Fizz
Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Bucks Fizz became one of the biggest pop bands of the early '80s after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1981.

Thanks to their skirt-ripping routine, the group were huge for a couple of years before parting ways by the end of the decade.

However, they are still together today... sort of. It's rather complicated. In fact, looking at their history is like keeping up with all the characters in Game of Thrones. They put Sugababes to shame.

Here's all the facts you need:

  1. Who are Bucks Fizz and what are their biggest hits?

    Bucks Fizz famously won the 1981 Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'Making Your Mind Up'.

    The group was formed in January 1981 specially for the contest, and comprised of: Bobby G, Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston.

    They scored two more UK number one singles after 'Making Your Mind Up', with 'The Land of Make Believe' and 'My Camera Never Lies'.

    They also had UK Top 10 hits with 'Now Those Days Are Gone', 'If You Can't Stand the Heat', 'When We Were Young' and 'New Beginning (Mamba Seyra)'.

  2. When did Bucks Fizz split up?

    Bucks Fizz
    Picture: Getty

    By 1985, Jay Aston no longer wanted to continue with the band, and she quit the group after a concert in Newcastle.

    It soon emerged that Aston had been having an affair with Andy Hill - the husband of the group's creator Nichola Martin.

    Aston was sued by management for breaching her contract, while a replacement member was sought.

    After 800 auditions, 21-year-old Shelley Preston landed the job of Aston's replacement.

    Following a concert tour in 1989, Preston also departed, signalling the end of Bucks Fizz.

    Sort of.

  3. Bucks Fizz members: Who also joined the band?

    The group carried on into the 1990s as a three-piece of Baker, G and Nolan.

    In 1991, celebrating 10 years as a band, they released their last album, Live at Fairfield Halls.

    By now, Cheryl Baker had become a successful TV presenter, and she left the group in 1993.

    Bobby G had by this point taken over as manager, and he recruited two new members alongside Nolan: Heidi Manton (who later married Bobby G) and Amanda Swarzc.

    This line-up continued until 1996, when Nolan quit and ex-Dollar singer David Van Day replaced him.

  4. David Van Day's Bucks Fizz: What was all that about?

    Here's where it gets really complicated.

    Bobby G and David Van Day's partnership didn't last. Van Day then teamed up with Mike Nolan and two new female singers (Lianna Lea and Sally Jacks) to form a new version of the group.

    Bobby G then put an injunction on the name, meaning that the second group had to be called 'Bucks Fizz starring Mike Nolan and featuring David Van Day'. Doesn't quite work, does it?

    In 2001, Nolan decided to part ways with Van Day, but the latter continued to use the Bucks Fizz name (despite never being part of the original band) alongside his then girlfriend, future UK Eurovision singer James Fox and West End performer Sarah J Price.

    Meanwhile, Bobby G and wife Heidi Manton landed the legal rights to the name Bucks Fizz, and brought a court case against Van Day. Fox and Price also left the group.

    The case was settled out of court in 2002 when Van Day agreed to call his version of the band 'David Van Day's Bucks Fizz Show'. However, he soon axed the band.

  5. The Fizz: Why are there now two groups?

    The 'official' Bucks Fizz are still performing, and currently consist of: Bobby G, Heidi Manton, Tammy Choat and Paul Yates.

    Meanwhile, a second group called The Fizz were formed in 2004 as a spin-off from the original group.

    The group reunited Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Shelley Preston, before Jay Aston replaced Preston in 2009.

    Bobby McVay - a member of UK Eurovision group Sweet Dreams (remember them?) - also became a member in 2015, before he left in 2018.

    They have released three albums as a new group, including their 2017 LP The F-Z of Pop, which reached number 25, becoming the highest-charting Bucks Fizz (ish) album in 33 years.