Eurovision: UK cities in the running to host as fans rally around Rylan to present

Sam Ryder performs on stage during Eurovision

UK cities have begun preparing their formal bids to become the hosts of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, while fans are desperately calling for Rylan Clark to host the BBC show.

On Monday (25 June), it was confirmed that the UK would host Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine next year, due to safety concerns with country’s ongoing war with Russia.

Applications open this week for UK cities to bid to host the contest, and a long-list will be announced later this summer.

“As well as selling their vision for a fantastic contest, potential host cities are expected to demonstrate that they can meet a list of expectations,” the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which organises Eurovision, said.

“Last year, the EBU’s host city criteria was based on providing a venue able to accommodate at least 10,000 spectators (as well as a press centre), that should be within easy reach of an international airport and with ample hotel accommodation.”

Eurovision organisers said representatives will work with the BBC, which will broadcast the show, to incorporate Ukrainian elements.

Several cities in England have already announced that they intend to submit formal bids, including London, Brighton, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool, as well as Manchester, which has the largest Ukrainian community outside of the capital.

Several Scottish cities have also confirmed that they will bid to be host city.

While it was expected that Glasgow and Edinburgh would bid – Edinburgh’s twin city is Kyiv, and Glasgow City Council said on Monday in a statement that “Glaswegians are desperate to welcome the world with open arms” – Aberdeen, a much smaller city, is also planning on making an ambitious case.

“We have the city, the people and infrastructure to support international events such as this and it would provide a major boost to the Aberdeen and Scottish economies and raise the city’s profile with potential investors and visitors,” Aberdeen City Council said.

Eurovision fans are desperate for Rylan Clark to host the contest

While prospective UK host cities scramble to bid, fierce discussion has centred on who will present the televised BBC show.

Several suggestions have been circulating on social media, but many fans are “praying” for that person to be Rylan Clark, who has been co-commentating on Eurovision since 2018.

The top choice to join Rylan appears to be iconic This Morning presenter Alison Hammond.

As one Twitter user put it: “Get Rylan and Alison hammond to host Eurovision or don’t waste my time.”