Eurovision commentator Graham Norton (Photo: BBC/Ray Burmiston)
Liverpoolwill host the Eurovision Song Contest for the first timein 2023, the BBC has confirmed.
Earlier this year, the annual music event was won by the Ukrainian representatives Kalush Orchestra, which would traditionally mean that the contest would be held in Ukraine in 2023.
However, due to the ongoing conflict, organisers made the decision that Eurovision would not be able to take place in Ukraine, and instead will be held in the UK, who finished in second place this year.
Following this, seven UK cities were originally revealed to have been shortlisted based on their “capability, capacity and experience” in hosting large-scale events, with Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield all making the cut.
This was later narrowed down to just Glasgow and Liverpool, with Graham Norton confirming during Friday’s edition of The One Show that the latter cityhad been selected for the event.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) October 7, 2022
Eurovision’s executive supervisor Martin Österdahl said after the announcement that Liverpool is “the ideal place” to host the competition next year.
“The city is synonymous with music and Liverpool Arena exceeds all the requirements needed to stage a global event of this scale,” he continued.
“We have been very impressed with the passion the city has shown in embracing the Contest and their inclusive ideas for placing last year’s winners, Ukraine, front and centre when thousands of fans visit next May. ”
Reigning winners Kalush Orchestra also said in a statement: “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!”
They added: “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.”
Kalush Orchestra performing in Turin earlier this year (Photo: picture alliance via Getty Images)
During his appearance on The One Show, Graham also confirmed that the final will be taking place on Saturday 13 May 2023, with the semi-finals airing on BBC One for the first time earlier that week.
In addition to the other shortlisted cities, the BBC previously shared that Aberdeen, Belfast, Brighton, Bristol, Darlington and London had all also considered before the initial shortlist announcement in August.
While Eurovision is be held in the UK next year, the BBC has insisted it is still “committed to delivering a truly unique Song Contest that celebrates wonderful Ukraine and champions British music and creativity in all its diversity”.
Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC will work closely with the BBC to develop Ukrainian elements of the 2023 show.
Due to Kalush Orchestra’s victory, Ukraine will also automatically qualify for next year’s Eurovision final, along with the so-called “Big 5”, which are the countries that contribute the most towards the event financially (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK).
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.