Buzz Fizz singer Jay Aston reveals band was protected from IRA threat ahead of Eurovision | Music | Entertainment

Singer Jay Aston revealed armed officers even accompanied her as she bought a pair of tights before the high security show in Dublin. The pop stars were shadowed by gun-carrying outriders and there were concerns they could be targeted at the contest, which took place at the height of The Troubles.

The competition was staged in Dublin after Irish entry Johnny Logan’s win in 1980 with What’s Another Year.

It prompted fears of violent anti-British demonstrations and attacks from the paramilitary group.

Bucks Fizz had to stay at a separate hotel from the other contestants, with constant armed guards. They travelled separately to the RDS Stadium for rehearsals and the main show.

Jay, 61, made the revelations after her current band, The Fizz – also featuring original Bucks Fizz members Cheryl Baker and Mike Nolan – announced it would be hosting a belated 40th anniversary gig at London’s Indigo on March 31, as part of a nationwide tour.

The singer explained: “We had a direct threat from the IRA. We had to have Special Branch take us everywhere.

“We had a bunch of very tall, very wide gentlemen escort us everywhere. They even followed me when I went to get my Pretty Polly tights, because I realised I needed a pair for on stage.

“We were in some little corner shop opposite where the Eurovision show was and two or three of them had to come with me. It is amazing how things have changed.”

She added: “The thing was, Mike was Irish and that probably helped.”

Fellow bandmate Cheryl, 68, added: “We were kept in a separate hotel with armed guards outside our rooms.

“They went everywhere with us, even in our own coach. We had outriders so we could go through red lights on the wrong side of the road.

“We thought it was a thrill at the time, not really thinking about the reason they were treating us like that – because the IRA might take us out.”

Cheryl continued: “One occasion Mike and I escaped our guards to go shopping. We got ticked off when we got back to the hotel.”

The Fizz released a new album – Everything Under The Sun – last September and enjoy huge demand when they perform. The 1981 Eurovision winner Making Your Mind Up is etched into pop history.

Jay, who is in remission from mouth cancer, stood as a Brexit Party candidate in 2019. She lives in Surrey with guitarist husband Dave Colquhoun, 53, and their daughter Josie, 20.

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