More than 200,000 people jammed switchboards over a seven-minute period. They were registering their votes for the final of Stars in their Eyes. Thousands of lines, mostly in Manchester and Cleveland, went dead due to the mass phone-in.
British Telecom and Granada Television, which produces the show for ITV, announced investigations into the breakdown which happened in spite of an extra 10,000 lines being ordered.
A BT spokeswoman said it had a system where calls were re-routed if there was a risk of overloading. 'In the Songs of Europe contest we were able to take up to a million calls at a time. We need to find out why there was a reduced number of calls going in and why there was a knock-on effect around the country.' BT had given assurances that the collapse did not affect the result of the contest, won by Jacquii Cann, 28, of Norwich, who impersonated Alison Moyet.Reuse content