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Shortlist of UK cities for Eurovision Song Contest 2023 revealed

Birmingham, Leeds and five other UK cities have made the cut to potentially host Eurovision 2023

By Charlotte Krol

Eurovision 2022 runner-up Sam Ryder in the music video for ‘SPACE MAN’
Eurovision 2022 runner-up Sam Ryder in the music video for ‘SPACE MAN’. (Picture: YouTube/Sam Ryder)

The shortlist of UK cities hoping to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest has been unveiled.

Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield are the seven cities that have made it into the next round, down from a longlist of 20.

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’.

BBC Radio 2 host Zoe Ball had the news announced by fellow BBC presenter Scott Mills on her show today (12 August). The cities that bid to take part have been judged on various criteria including having a venue that can host at least 10,000 people, and access to an international airport.

The shortlisted cities will be assessed again to choose the ultimate winner. Availability of resources and experience of hosting large events will be among factors taken into consideration.

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.

Eurovision 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra. (Picture: EBU – Corinne Cumming)

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.

Eurovision has previously been staged in the UK at the Brighton Dome, Wembley Arena, Harrogate’s international centre, and most recently in 1998 at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena.

Last month, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said 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.

Re-visit Rolling Stone UK’s interview with Eurovision 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra about how they became the runaway favourites for the contest here.

You can also read RS UK’s chat with Ryder here.