In the moments after Liverpool was named Eurovision 2023 host city, locals erupted with joy and gratitude. This was evident most immediately from the live reaction of Claire McColgan, Director of Culture Liverpool, and Eurovision 1993 runner-up Sonia, who were standing by with the BBC.
“It just means everything,” Claire said, having masterminded the city’s bid, which includes a huge cultural programme dedicated to Ukraine. “We’re doing this for Ukraine first of all. We’re doing it for the U.K. We’re doing it for our brilliant city. We just wanted this so much.”
“Better the Devil You Know” singer Sonia is ready to drop the disco balls.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” she said. “You know what? Scousers know how to party. We’re going to have the biggest party ever!”
Bill Addy, whose company works to improve the Liverpool city centre, says his excitement level is well above 10.
“This is a significant moment for Liverpool — for Liverpool’s visitor economy, for the whole city, just tremendous.”
“Just winning it last night, we saw the ripples of that noise going right around the world coming from Liverpool. To have secured Eurovision in May ’23, is so, so significant for us.”
“We will make Ukraine proud in what we will do for them. We will become a satellite for Ukraine as we deliver one of the greatest Eurovision’s the world has ever seen.”
Claire McColgan, Bid Queen and perhaps the busiest woman in Liverpool of late, spoke to The Guide Liverpool the day after the win.
Standing inside the M&S Bank Arena, you could read the relief and enthusiasm on her face.
“I’m really delighted for our partner city in Odesa, because that’s been an absolute joy over the last couple of months.”
“I’m standing in the arena where this is going to go out to 161 million people around the world from this city in May. And we did it. We did it! Yeah, I’m very pleased.”
“It’s just huge. The three months before will just be amazing….it’s just going to be phenomenal.”
“In the world that we’re in, you need those moments where people go, ‘Liverpool. I’d forgotten how beautiful is that city, how incredible is that city. I’m going to go and visit that city. I’m going to invest in that city. Having events like this are a huge catalyst for what we can say about ourselves.”
In a BBC interview, she also teased some of Liverpool’s plans, as you can hear below.
?? ?? “We’re working on the whole theme of peace. We’re working on how you connect people through joy and through music.”— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) October 8, 2022
? Claire McColgan from @CultureLPool teases plans for #Eurovision 2023. pic.twitter.com/kbV1dI1Opo
Liz Truss, the country’s embattled Prime Minister, sent her well-wishes. She rightly flagged that the show will put Ukrainian culture front and centre.
Huge congratulations to Liverpool for having been selected as the hosts of @bbceurovision 2023. A welcoming city with a proud musical heritage, Liverpool will put on an unforgettable show which celebrates the rich culture and creativity of Ukraine.— Liz Truss (@trussliz) October 7, 2022
The Liverpool Echo, the city’s main newspaper, gave the news front-page billing on its Saturday edition.
The cover shows an aerial view of the city with the Royal Liver Building dominating the scene. One of its two fabled Liver Birds, which are said to watch over the city and the sea, intersects with the Eurovision logo.
According to local legend, if the birds fly the nest, the city would be done for. Thankfully the 18-foot-tall birds don’t show any sign of flapping their wings.
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Are you still riding a high about the choice of Liverpool? Let us know down below! And in case you missed our hour-long discussion about the host city on YouTube, you can catch up below.