Following Monday’s announcement that the United Kingdom will host Eurovision 2023, the conversation has quickly turned to which city should have the honour of hosting the competition. Within less than 24 hours, two previous Eurovision champions have stepped forward and named the city they think would be best for the job.
Cheryl Baker, who won Eurovision in 1981 as part of Bucks Fizz, has put her weight behind Wales’s capital city Cardiff. Meanwhile, Glasgow is the city of choice for Lulu, joint winner of Eurovision 1969.
Eurovision 1997 champion Katrina Leskanich (of Katrina and the Waves) has also shown support for Manchester.
Cheryl Baker suggests Cardiff should host Eurovision 2023
Speaking on Tuesday’s BBC Breakfast, Cheryl Baker noted only those cities that have appropriate infrastructure would make feasible choices of host:
“It needs to go to a city where there’s an international airport, where they’ve got a venue that’s big enough, where there are enough hotels, so any one of those would work.”
Even though the “Making Your Mind Up” hitmaker lives relatively close to the UK’s largest city, she suggested it would be worth looking somewhere else:
“I think it would be nice if it didn’t go to London although, for me, I live in Kent, I’m half an hour from London. So for me, that would be perfect!
“But would be nice if it went to [a] regional… I fancy Cardiff, I think that would be nice. Like you say, the land of song.”
Regardless of which British city is eventually chosen, Baker is still keen to see the reigning Eurovision champions Ukraine have a strong identity in the shows:
“As long as Ukraine are completely involved, as long as their presenters… we’ve basically given them the shell to do it in my opinion, I think their production teams and their presenters and everything should be totally involved.
“It’s just like we’re giving them the venue to use, that’s what I think.”
Lulu backs hometown Glasgow to host
On Monday evening, Eurovision 1969 champion Lulu also voiced her opinion whilst on BBC Two’s Newsnight. The “Boom Bang-a-Bang” singer grew up in Dennistoun, a residential district of Glasgow. Therefore, the star is putting all her support behind Scotland’s most populous city:
“It has to be Glasgow because that’s where I come from. They’re so politically savvy, they’re the most fabulous hosts, they absolutely are music mad. I think it would be just the most fabulous thing, and I would be there. I just cannot wait.”
When asked if she had a particular venue within Glasgow in mind, Lulu wasn’t so sure: “Maybe it’s a football pitch … they wouldn’t. It has to be a stadium I feel, do you? I don’t really know, that’s not my side of things.”
One person who definitely does have a proposed venue in Glasgow is First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon. She’s previously expressed her support for bringing Eurovision 2023 to the banks of the River Clyde, referencing OVO Hydro.
Katrina Leskanich shows support for Manchester
Update 21:24 BST: Another of the UK’s Eurovision winners to publicly show support for a city is 1997 champion Katrina Leskanich. Whilst on BBC Radio 5 Live, the Katrina and the Waves frontwoman went on record saying Manchester would be a prime choice to host Eurovision 2023:
“[There are] just some cities that are just crying out to host and I think Manchester is one of them. It would be at the very top of my list as it meets all of the criteria.”
Leskanich added that the city’s infrastructure and Gay Village were clear examples of how Manchester had “everything you need and it is a great party city”.
@wiwibloggs_official #Eurovision is officially coming back to the #UK 🇬🇧 #ESC #ESC2023 #Eurovision2023 #UnitedKingdom #Ukraine ♬ original sound – wiwibloggs
The host city for Eurovision 2023 will be chosen in the coming months following a bidding process to be launched this week.
Bidding is expected to be competitive, with several mayors, councillors and MPs already informally expressing an intention to bid, including representatives from: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wolverhampton.
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.
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.
Do you agree with either Cheryl Baker or Lulu? Would Cardiff or Glasgow make a good host city for Eurovision 2023? Let us know in the comments below.