Both Glasgow and Liverpool, two cities that boast rich pop heritages, are confident their cities have what it takes to host the Eurovision in 2023, ITV News' Louise Scott reports.
The Eurovision song contest will be held in either Liverpool or Glasgow next year, the BBC has announced.
Initially, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester formed the shortlist of potential cities to host Eurovision in 2023 in place of Ukraine.
But, that the UK wide search has now been narrowed down to just Liverpool and Glasgow.
Ukrainian entry Kalush Orchestra triumphed at the 2022 competition in Turin, Italy, but the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which produces the annual event, decided the show cannot be held in the country following Russia’s invasion.
The selected city will be crowned host of the 67th Eurovision Song Contest after the UK was given the chance to host the event for the ninth time – more than any other country – after Sam Ryder came second in the competition.
The shortlist was narrowed down from 20 UK cities who initially submitted an “expression of interest”, with applicants across all four regions demonstrating how they would reflect Ukrainian culture, music and communities.
Of the seven cities shortlisted, six are in England and one is in Scotland, with Belfast failing to make the cut for Northern Ireland.
The cities have each been scored on a set of criteria, the BBC revealed.
Requirements include “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 Mayor Joanne Anderson said she was “delighted” with the city being one of the remaining two in contention to host the Eurovision Song Contest next year.
She tweeted: “Absolutely delighted #Liverpool has made the final two for the #Eurovision2023 shortlist.
“Nowhere throws a party quite like us. The people, communities & businesses of our city are ready to put on a show – for Ukraine, the UK & for Europe.
“Eurovision in Liverpool. Imagine”
The Scottish Secretary has said Glasgow has “got what it takes to go all the way” and become host of Eurovision next year.
Speaking after the announcement of Glasgow and Liverpool as the two remaining host city contenders, Alister Jack said: “It’s an honour for the UK to host Eurovision 2023 and pay tribute to the culture and creativity of Ukraine.
“Glasgow has got what it takes to go all the way.
“Famous around the world for its brilliant music and welcoming spirit, with a track record in delivering global events, we know our biggest city would put on a fantastic show.”