Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield have been unveiled as the seven shortlisted UK cities to battle it out to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
The UK has taken on hosting duties from Ukraine, which won Eurovision 2022 but is unable to host due to the war with Russia.
The shortlisted cities will now face off after 20 cities across all four UK nations submitted “bids of interest”.
Cities will now go through to a second stage and the final decision made on which city scores highest against the BBC’s criteria, revealed in the Autumn. Next year’s contest will be the ninth to be hosted in the UK, which hasn’t hosted for 25 years.
The BBC, which is host broadcaster, has made clear that the 2023 competition will be a “true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity.” UK performer Sam Ryder came second in the competition and so the hosting defaulted to that nation.
Notably absent is London, which has hosted several times before. There had also been a last minute push for the North East city of Darlington, which fell short. Brighton also missed out.
Ukraine rap group Kalush Orchestra’s win was hugely emotional and the group has since auctioned its trophy in order to help with the war effort.
The announcement was made on BBC Radio 2 in the past few minutes by Breakfast host Zoe Ball and Eurovision Supervisor Martin Österdahl.
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