London “ready to step up” and host Eurovision 2023

Image above: Eurovision stage 2022

Sadiq Khan hopes London wins bid to host Eurovision

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

The European Broadcasting Union, which produces the annual contest, has confirmed it is talking to the BBC about the possibility of Britain hosting in place of war-torn Ukraine, as Britain came second in this year’s contest in Turin.

Sadiq Khan said London is “ready to step up” and host the contest. He Tweeted:

“Londoners would welcome Eurovision with open arms.

“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.

Image above: Wembley Arena in west London would be a contender for host

London faces competition from other regions.

No final decision has been made on Eurovision 2023, but other political leaders were quick to suggest their city is best suited to play host.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon voiced her support for Glasgow as the home of the contest. The OVO Hydro arena in Glasgow is rumoured to be a favourite location to host the contest for the UK.

Ms Sturgeon 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.”

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. Manchester is home to the largest arena in the UK with a capacity of 21,000. London’s O2 arena only has a 20,000 capacity.

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

Representatives for Leeds, Wales, Birmingham and Brighton have also threw their hats into the ring.

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