Seven cities make shortlist ahead of UK's Eurovision song contest

12 August 2022, 08:44 | Updated: 12 August 2022, 09:39

The UK will host Eurovision after coming runners up to Ukraine in 2022
The UK will host Eurovision after coming runners up to Ukraine in 2022. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

Seven cities have been shortlisted to host Eurovision next year.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield have all made the list.

The UK, which came second in the 2022 tournament, will host it instead of winner Ukraine because of Russia's invasion.

Birmingham's city council leader vowed to turn it into a celebration of Ukraine since it cannot host.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: "With Ukraine unable to host next year's contest as it continues to defend itself against Russia's senseless aggression, we are determined to deliver a competition which reflects Ukraine's rich culture and creativity.

"I wish all the bidding cities the best of success and know no matter which one is chosen it will be a fantastic event to make both the UK and Ukraine proud."

The cities will now be asked to developed their bids with the winner announced in the autumn.

The winning city will be chosen based on criteria including having a suitable venue, the financial contribution and the strength of the cultural offer.

Eurovision set to be hosted by the United Kingdom in 2023

Britain came runners-up to Ukraine with Sam Ryder's smash hit Space Man. Ukraine, which by the time of the contest in May was almost three months into its defence against Russia, swept to victory with Kalush Orchestra's Stefania.

The winner typically hosts the tournament but with the invasion of Ukraine likely to become a protracted conflict, the European Broadcasting Union decided it could not hold the tournament, instead sending it to the UK as runner-up.

The last time the UK hosted the vibrant singing carnival was in 1998, in Birmingham.

That city's council leader Ian Ward said: "We would love the honour of hosting, on behalf of Ukraine, the Eurovision song contest next year."

Read more: UK to host Eurovision 2023 after bosses decided Ukraine is not safe

The avid Eurovision watcher went on:"We are definitely up for the challenge, and we want to make this a celebration of Ukraine."

"We have some 450 people who've come here from Ukraine since the war with Russia began, we've another 200 on the way," he said.

"We have the largest Ukrainian population outside London, so we are the ideal location really to give Ukraine a real celebration of Ukrainian culture and people."