By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter
Graham Norton will reveal the host city of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest during BBC’s The One Show on Friday evening, it has been announced.
Liverpool and Glasgow are the two UK cities which remain in the running to host the music event next year in place of Ukraine.
During Radio 2’s Ken Bruce show on Friday, the presenter revealed that Eurovision veteran Norton will make the announcement of which city will host and the date of the grand finale.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) October 7, 2022
Bruce said: “As you probably know there are two cities left in the race to host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine – Glasgow and Liverpool.
“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.”
The final two cities battling it out were revealed last month following a seven-strong shortlist which also included Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester.
Following the announcement of the final two, further discussions were due to take place with officials from Glasgow and Liverpool, with the final decision a matter for the BBC in conjunction with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Ukrainian entry Kalush Orchestra triumphed at the 2022 competition in Turin, Italy, but the EBU, which produces the annual event, decided the show cannot be safely held in the country following Russia’s invasion.
It was later decided that the UK would host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest as Sam Ryder came second in the competition.
This will be the ninth time the UK will have hosted the competition, more than any other country.
In August, a list narrowed down from 20 UK cities that initially submitted an “expression of interest” was released by the BBC, with applicants across all four regions demonstrating how they would reflect Ukrainian culture, music and communities.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) September 27, 2022
Of the seven cities named in August, six were in England, one in Scotland, with Belfast failing to make the cut for Northern Ireland.
Requirements included “a suitable venue and sufficient space to deliver the requirements of the Song Contest”, necessary commitment to the contest including a financial contribution, and “alignment with the BBC’s strategic priorities as a public service broadcaster”.
Liverpool, which has been a Unesco City of Music since 2015, is synonymous with The Beatles and has a rich music heritage.
In June, Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: “Culture is synonymous with Liverpool and we tick all the boxes to be next year’s host – great venues, enviable experience, a world-renowned music heritage, Unesco City of Music status and of course the warm Scouse welcome that just can’t be beaten.”
In 2008 Liverpool hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards and it is also home to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also previously voiced her support for Glasgow as the home of the contest in June, with the OVO Hydro arena, which features in the Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story Of Fire Saga, in the city previously rumoured to be a favourite location to host the contest for the UK.
Scottish singer Lulu represented Britain at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969, with song Boom Bang-A-Bang. She was the joint winner that year as she shared the prize with France, Netherlands and Spain with 18 points apiece.