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Graham Norton to host Eurovision Song Contest as co-hosts also announced

1 year ago

By The Guide Liverpool

Graham Norton to host Eurovision Song Contest as co-hosts also announced

The BBC has announced the star-studded team hosting the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest from Liverpool to audiences across the world.

Presenting the Grand Final (13 May) to a global audience of 160 million will be Eurovision legend Graham Norton, Ukrainian singer, composer and frontwoman of The HARDKISS alternative band, Julia Sanina, Emmy Award-winning actress, Hannah Waddingham, and singer-songwriter, pop star and TV presenter, Alesha Dixon.

Presenting the two live Semi-Finals (9, 11 May) from Liverpool will be the trio of musical superstars Julia, Hannah, and Alesha.

Eurovision
Credit: PA

Ukrainian broadcaster Timur Miroshnychenko will be the Eurovision Correspondent in Liverpool, appearing in VT inserts during the live shows plus giving live insights from Ukraine’s commentary box in the Liverpool Arena. Alongside Liverpudlian presenter, Sam Quek, he will front the Opening Ceremony live stream on the official Eurovision Song Contest YouTube Channel.

For the Grand Final commentary on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, Graham Norton and actress and comedian Mel Giedroyc will take turns in the commentary box to bring those watching at home their unique and expert views on the 2023 acts.

For the first time in the UK’s Eurovision Song Contest history, both Semi-Finals will be live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, with radio DJs and Eurovision experts, Scott Mills and Rylan bringing UK audiences their colourful and insightful commentary.

Bringing the contest closer to audiences in Merseyside will be a special commentary team on BBC Radio Merseyside, including Claire Sweeney and the winner of The Voice of Eurovision talent search, currently underway to discover new Scouse talent.

Kate Phillips, BBC’s Director of Unscripted, says:

“The BBC is thrilled to have such a talented line-up bringing the Eurovision Song Contest from Liverpool – on behalf of Ukraine – to the world.

“One thing that truly unites us all is music, and we’re proud to have a team – who are well accustomed to the worlds of music, performing and live broadcasting – as part of our Eurovision presenting family.

“It will be a remarkable moment for the BBC to deliver two huge pinnacles in this year’s broadcasting calendar, the King’s Coronation and Eurovision, within the same week.”

The Grand and Semi Finals will be produced by BBC Studios.

Eurovision

United By Music

The Eurovision Family are all ‘United By Music’.

Graham Norton is a Eurovision Song Contest legend who has been commentating on the Contest for the UK since 2009. His multi-award winning BBC show, The Graham Norton Show sees Graham chatting regularly to the world’s biggest music stars and Hollywood A-Listers.

Julia Sanina is a Ukrainian singer, composer and frontwoman of The HARDKISS alternative band (winners of numerous YUNA Ukrainian Music Awards; 18-time award winners, five of which are for the best rock band of Ukraine and MTV Europe award nominees for “Best Ukrainian Act”).

Hannah Waddingham won an Emmy Award for her role in Ted Lasso, has been nominated for three Olivier Awards and has starred in West End and Broadway musicals (Spamalot, The Wizard of Oz, Into The Woods, Kiss Me Kate and Space Family Robinson), additional credits include Hocus Pocus 2, Game of Thrones, Sex Education, Willow and the upcoming Tom Jones limited series.

Alesha Dixon, formerly in chart-topping band, Mis-Teeq – who had two top-ten albums and seven consecutive top-ten singles – is also a hugely successful solo artist, Alesha is an experienced BBC TV presenter – fronting Comic Relief and The Greatest Dancer, judging Strictly Come Dancing and ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.

Timur Miroshnychenko has commentated on Eurovision in Ukraine since 2007 and was a host on the 2017 show from Kyiv. He also presented Junior Eurovision in 2009 and 2013.

Mel Giedroyc, Rylan and Scott Mills have been involved in Eurovision for almost 25 years cumulatively and are highly experienced live broadcasters with Scott and Rylan hosting their own shows on BBC Radio 2. Mel cut her teeth on Light Lunch in the 90s, alongside hosting the award-winning Have I Got News For You. She has also fronted Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief and has presented with Graham Norton on Let it Shine and Children in Need.

Bringing a unique Scouse perspective to the proceedings are Liverpudlians Claire Sweeney and Sam Quek. Performer, TV presenter and actress Claire trained at the Elliot-Clarke Theatre School in Liverpool. Her first major TV role was as Lindsey Corkhill in Brookside and since then she has gone on to perform in many musicals including Chicago, alongside her TV presenting career. Liverpool born and Wirral based Sam is a former Great Britain Hockey player who won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She has presented numerous high-profile sports programmes and is currently team captain on A Question of Sport as well as regularly hosting BBC One’s Morning Live. 

Hear from the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 family

Broadcaster, comedian and author, Graham Norton, says:

“It’s no secret how much I adore Eurovision, I truly believe it’s the greatest show on earth and every year that I’m involved it’s a huge honour. This year is even more special and I personally feel a big responsibility to make our Ukrainian colleagues proud.  Alongside presenting the Grand Final to the world, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to get back into the commentary box for those watching in the UK!”

Julia Sanina was a Dancing with the Stars in Ukraine finalist and judge on X-Factor Ukraine. In 2016, her band, The HARDKISS, took part in the national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest and placed second overall. She was elected by the Ukrainian public to be a judge on Ukraine’s Eurovision national selection show (Vidbir). Shesays: “I am thrilled to present the Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals and Grand Final. I’m so excited to showcase Ukrainian culture and creativity, and to help put on a show to make my country proud. I can’t wait to get to Liverpool and meet the fans and the rest of the Eurovision family.”

Internationally renowned actress, Emmy winner, and Golden Globe nominee Hannah Waddingham, says:

“There’s something really special about Eurovision which is why I’ve been an avid fan for years – from the camaraderie of all the acts backstage, to the epic scale of the show. It’s one of the world’s greatest music festivals, but this year, perhaps more than ever, it is such a great honour to be standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine, a country which has carried itself with such strength and unity. It is my great privilege to join Eurovision this year of all years.”

Eurovision

TV personality and Brit Award nominated musician, Alesha Dixon says:

“I’ve performed all over the world and there is just something about the buzz and anticipation of a live show that can’t be rivalled. Eurovision delivers that excitement, creativity and talent, but on a vast, global scale. I remember watching the Eurovision Song Contest on the TV when I was small, so to be there bringing the Grand Final and Semi Finals to people watching across the world is HUGE.”

Ukrainian commentator for Eurovision 2023, Timur Miroshnychenko, says:

“I’ve been part of the Ukrainian Eurovision family for almost twenty years and it’s always such a special event, uniting us all by music. I am delighted to be the commentary voice of Ukraine from Liverpool, bringing Eurovision fans, new and existing, all the action from the arena and no doubt some behind the scenes exclusives too!”

Actress and comedian Mel Giedroyc says: 

“I’ve been a fan of Eurovision since I was knee-high to Lulu and we are all in for a real treat come May! Whether you’re a Eurovision stalwart or a new viewer, I’ll be guiding you through every step of the way as we get to know the 2023 artists. This year is particularly special and I’m looking forward to taking to one of the best seats in the house and bringing the Eurovision banter with Mr Norton from the commentary box to those watching from their Eurovision parties in the UK.”

TV and BBC Radio presenter, Rylan, says:

“From being part of the UK delegation since 2018, Eurovision has become such a big part of my life and I think the scale of it this year is going to be like nothing we’ve seen before. I’m so excited to be back in the commentators box to celebrate the United Kingdom hosting Ukraine’s party. It’s going to be an amazing year for Eurovision. I genuinely can’t wait.”

BBC Radio host, Scott Mills says:

“I’m so excited for this year’s Eurovision Semi-Finals on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. I can’t wait to spend all week with Rylan and the team in Liverpool – the perfect city to host the biggest music event in the world”

TV presenter and actress, Claire Sweeney, says:

“I’m made up to be part of BBC Radio Merseyside’s Voice of Eurovision – I love Eurovision and I’m so excited that it’s coming to Liverpool. It’ll be the first time ever that people will be able to hear a Eurovision commentary in scouse – I can’t wait!”

Sam Quek, TV presenter and Olympian says:

“The fact that Eurovision has come to Liverpool is massive, this city has been home to me all my life and I just know we are going to put on a real spectacle for the world. Liverpool has always been a melting pot of cultures and ideas – I can’t wait to see how Ukrainian culture and creativity are woven in with our Scouse traditions! I’m very excited to bring you a Liverpudlian point of view straight from the Opening Ceremony.”

Find out more about Eurovision 2023 here.

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