London 'ready to step up' and host Eurovision 2023 as British cities race to pitch for the event

Could the UK step in to host Eurovision 2023? ITV News correspondent Geraint Vincent reports

London could be in line to host the Eurovision Song Contest if it comes to the UK next year, but faces competition as several British cities expressed interest in holding the event.

The European Broadcasting Union, which produces the annual contest, said it is in talks with the BBC about it hosting in place of Ukraine, after it concluded the war-torn country was unable to do so.

No final decision has been made on Eurovision 2023 - but regional figures were quick to suggest their city is best suited to play host.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: “Londoners would welcome Eurovision with open arms.

The UK finished in second place this year, meaning the country is next in line to host the contest. Credit: PA

“We’re ready to step up and support Ukraine by hosting a contest that pays tribute to and honours the Ukrainian people, and also celebrates the very best of Britain too.”

The event could take place at either the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena or the 12,500-capacity OVO Wembley Arena.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon voiced her support for Glasgow as the home of the contest.

She said on Twitter: “We wish @Eurovision could be in Ukraine but understand that in circumstances this isn’t possible.

“However, I can think of a perfect venue on banks of the River Clyde!! @scotgov is happy to discuss with BBC, @GlasgowCC @EBU_HQ and others.”

The OVO Hydro arena in Glasgow is rumoured to be a favourite location to host the contest for the UK.

OVO Hydro arena in Glasgow Credit: PA

In a second tweet, Ms Sturgeon added: “Indeed there may be several possible venues in Scotland – let’s discuss!!”

Sacha Lord, night-time economy adviser for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and co-founder of Parklife festival said hosting the event would be "huge" for the city.

“We’re globally known for our music and I’m confident the right people would give it the full support, to make this happen,” he added.

Welsh Labour MP Kevin Brennan backed Cardiff, tweeting: “Clearly Eurovision should be held at the Principality Stadium (roof closed) Cardiff with 70,000 partygoers – no brainer.”

Representatives of Leeds said the city had already been in contact with the government and BBC about a bid for the contest, which will take place mid-way through the Leeds 2023 Year of Culture.

A joint statement from James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council, and Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy and culture, said: “It goes without saying that Leeds will be bidding to host Eurovision in 2023."

“Leeds has already proved that it has the capability and capacity to host major international events and ASM Global successfully hosted Eurovision in the Avicii Arena, Stockholm Sweden in 2016," they added.

The UK has hosted the contest in London four times (1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977), and once in Edinburgh (1972), Brighton (1974), Harrogate (1982) and Birmingham (1998).

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