Either Glasgow or Liverpool will host Eurovision 2023, it has been confirmed.
Both cities have made it through to the final stage after Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester were all removed from contention to host the music event in place of Ukraine. The shortlist of cities was initially confirmed last month.
Confirming the news, Phil Harrold, the chairman of the BBC’s host city selection committee, said: “Thanks to all seven cities across the UK who have demonstrated the enthusiasm and passion for Eurovision that exists right across the UK.
“We were incredibly impressed by the quality and creativity of all the city bids in what was a highly competitive field.
“The Eurovision Song Contest is a very complex event and Liverpool and Glasgow have the strongest overall offer; we will continue our discussions with them to determine the eventual host city.
“We are determined to make the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest one that both reflects the winning position of Ukraine and is also an event that all of the UK can participate in.”
The UK is hosting next year’s competition on behalf of Ukraine, the contest’s 2022 winners, because it’s been deemed too risky for the war-torn country to stage it. Sam Ryder secured the UK second place at the contest in May with his song ‘Space Man’.
The BBC and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will decide the host city although the government may also be consulted. Eurovision 2023 is to be aired by the BBC on behalf of Ukraine’s national broadcaster, UA:PBC.
Ukraine won this year’s competition, with Kalush Orchestra‘s song ‘Stephania’. It has since become an anthem for the country amid its ongoing war with Russia.
The UK holds the record for hosting the contest. Next year will mark the ninth time that it’s hosted the event. Four of the previous occasions were hosted on behalf of winners.
Earlier this year, a government spokesperson vowed that the BBC and UK would “pull out all the stops” to make sure the event “celebrates and honours” Ukraine – and encouraged viewers to stock up on Ukrainian flags.