BBC: Ukraine will be like a ribbon running through Eurovision

A director of BBC Eurovision has said that Ukraine’s participation in the song contest can be imagined as a “really rich ribbon running through” the event.

The international music show will take place in Liverpool in May after the city was selected to host the competition on behalf of the winners of 2022 Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.


(left to right) Claire McColgan, director of Liverpool Culture, Bill Addy, managing director at Liverpool Bid Company and Faye Dyer, chief executive officer of ACC Group (Peter Byrne/PA)

Martin Green, executive director of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 at the BBC, was asked on Tuesday by the PA news agency how the country, which was invaded by Russia last year, would be highlighted at the event in September. Year.

He said: “Just imagine it as a really rich ribbon running through the whole and, importantly, both in and out of the camera…

“We want to make sure that we celebrate and honor the fact that we are organizing this event on behalf of Ukraine.”

He said the new branding for Eurovision, which shows hearts beating together in the colors of the flags of Ukraine and Great Britain – announced on Tuesday, “hopes” to be seen as a “statement of intent”. .

The artwork is a collaboration between UK company Superunion and Ukrainian creative studio Starlight Creative.

This year’s event’s tagline, United By Music, was also revealed on the same day, which the BBC said “reflects the competition’s roots, developed to bring Europe closer together through a television experience created by the BBC”. shared between different countries”.

The BBC says the branding also represents a “nod” to the city’s rich musical heritage and iron street signs, as the Penny Lane typeface was used in the branding. .

The Beatles, founded in Liverpool, released the song of the same name, Penny Lane, in 1967.

Mr. Green confirmed that the Kalush Orchestra will enter the competition in the final as winners last year, similar to previous years.

He added that the show is still in “deep development” so no musical guest announcements have been made, however, he did say that audiences should keep an eye out for “a lot of surprises and Interestingly”.

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In previous years, Madonna, Mika and Riverdance have guest performed on the show.

Claire McColgan, Liverpool’s culture director, said the city would look “beautiful” – with art installations, a waterfront Eurovision village, cultural festivals and local businesses taking part.

She added: “You also have ties to Ukraine, so you’re going to see that through the whole show and that’s the thread that’s going to run through it.”

This included a school program that saw children in the Liverpool area being taught Ukrainian along with other European languages ​​before the event began.

Ms McColgan added that she hopes there will be a “legacy” of relationships between Ukrainian and Liverpudlian artists created after the event.

The BBC has run the event as a public broadcaster on eight previous occasions the UK has hosted it due to winning the competition or when other countries were unable to host the programme.

Mr Green added: “(With the King’s coronation) it is an extraordinary seven days for this extraordinary organization to really show people what it does and what it does best.”


New logo and tagline revealed for Eurovision Song Contest ahead of 2023 event in Liverpool (BBC/PA)

Ms McColgan said Liverpool were used to hosting “big events” and added that there was still accommodation in the city, around 10,000 hotel rooms and more in surrounding areas with ferry and car connections fire to the event.

The Eurovision handover and allocation draw will be televised live for the first time on the BBC.

It is hosted by Rylan Clark and AJ Odudu, on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer from 7pm and will incorporate brand new and Ukrainian refugees already settled in Liverpool and local schoolchildren.

St George’s Hall and the Liverpool sign at Liverpool ONE are using the branding ahead of it being rolled out across the city from April.

The 11,000-capacity M&S Bank Arena on Liverpool’s waterfront will host the competition in May. BBC: Ukraine will be like a ribbon running through Eurovision

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