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Eurovision Song Contest 2023: BBC announce Liverpool as next year's host city

Liverpool is the lucky U.K city that will host next year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Graham Norton appeared on The One Show earlier this evening [October 7] to reveal Liverpool had been chosen to host the iconic music competition in May 2023, after the BBC worked in conjunction with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to decide where the 67th Eurovision Song Contest would take place.

The presenter and comedian joined The One Show presenters Roman Kemp and Alex Jones in the BBC studios this evening to share the exciting news, following live links to Liverpool and Glasgow to capture the mood in both cities before the winner was finally revealed after weeks of speculation.

After Graham revealed Liverpool had pipped Glasgow to the post to host the event next year, The One Show headed over to the northern city to see the reaction - with Scouse singer Sonia over the moon with the decision and excitedly telling viewers: "Scousers know how to party!"

Sonia represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1993 - narrowly missing out on the top spot by just one point. Discussing the singer's joyous reaction to Liverpool named next year's host city, Graham confessed to Roman and Alex in the studio he was "surprised Sonia didn't explode".

Liverpool’s 11,000-capacity M&S Bank Arena will host three live Eurovision Song Contestant events that culminate in a four-hour grand final next year - with Graham revealing on The One Show that the main contest will take place on May 13 2023.

Kalush Orchestra reacted to the news Liverpool will be next year's host city, saying: "We are very pleased that next year's Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Liverpool.

"Though we haven't had the privilege of visiting yet, the musical heritage of the city is known all over the world. Playing in the same place that The Beatles started out will be a moment we'll never forget!

"Although we are sad that next year's competition cannot take place in our homeland, we know that the people of Liverpool will be warm hosts and the organisers will be able to add a real Ukrainian flavour to Eurovision 2023 in this city."

Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra were crowned champions of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy earlier this year, with their winning song Stefania narrowly beating U.K entry Sam and his catchy tune, Space Man and being crowned the 66th champions of the iconic contest.

Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine celebrating their win in May (Getty Images)

Although the winning nation usually hosts the following year's contest, in the midst of their victory it was quickly decided due to the war with Russia, runners-up Britain would take over their duties - leading to a hotly-contested selection process between UK cities in their bids to attract thousands of visitors from across Europe.

Before revealing Liverpool would be hosting next year's contest, The One Show's hosts Roman and Alex paid tribute to the people of Ukraine - discussing with Graham that while it's exciting the U.K will be welcoming the rest of Europe into the country next year, it's important to remember why the contest is unable to be held in Ukraine.

Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan also congratulated Liverpool after The One Show's big reveal, saying: "Huge congratulations to Liverpool. The city loves music and knows how to throw a party, so I've no doubt it will host a spectacular experience for the thousands in attendance and millions watching at home on the BBC.

"(Vladimir) Putin's illegal war means the competition cannot take place in Ukraine, but Eurovision brings people together and, together with the Government, I am sure Liverpool and the BBC will honour the country's culture and creativity with an event to remember."

BBC Radio 2 presenter Ken Bruce teased Eurovision fans earlier today during his show, telling listeners Graham would be announcing the host city this evening.

"As you probably know there are two cities left in the race to host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine – Glasgow and Liverpool," he began this morning.

"But the finish line is finally in sight because I can confirm that on The One Show tonight, Graham Norton will finally reveal which city will be hosting the 67th Eurovision Song Contest next May.

"He’ll also tell us the date of the grand final."

Sam did Britain proud earlier this year (Getty)

Liverpool and Glasgow had been battling it out over recent weeks, after both cities were confirmed as the two finalists in a strong shortlist which also included Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester.

As the shortlist was announced, Nadine Dorries, the former U.K Culture Secretary, said that the country was "determined to deliver a competition which reflects Ukraine's rich culture and creativity" and added that "no matter which [city] is chosen it will be a fantastic event to make both the UK and Ukraine proud".

Five of the shortlisted cities were located in the north of England, with Glasgow Scotland's only shortlisted bid and none further south than Birmingham. No cities from Wales or Northern Ireland made the final shortlist.

Many had expected Manchester to win the seven-strong race to host Eurovision, but on September 27 BBC Breakfast revealed the norther city had been knocked out of the running - leaving only Liverpool and Glasgow left to compete for the honour.

Sam's second place success in May marked the country's best result since 1998 - with the U.K making the top ten for the first time since since Jade Ewen came fifth in 2009. Over recent years, Britain's entries have often failed to impress the rest of Europe - coming last in both 2019 and 2021.

Graham Norton, who presented the contest on BBC One. said of Sam's surprising success at the time: "This is a red letter moment. I am so happy for [Sam], for the UK and for the BBC who have worked so hard to turn our fortunes."