Liverpool calling

It’s been nearly four months since we got the fantastic news that Liverpool will host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine.

Things went a little bit quiet after that. There was the announcement of the production team, and a fantastic New Year’s Eve show with Sam Ryder showing just how Eurovision can boost an artist, if they want it. But if there was activity behind the scenes, not much of it was in the public eye.

Things kicked up a gear on Monday with the unveiling of the theme for this year’s contest, United by Music, and the logo and graphics, which combine the colours of the UK and Ukraine.

Then, on Tuesday came the handover ceremony and draw, screened live on BBC Two. This was the official ceremony to hand over from last year’s hosts, Turin, with that city’s mayor looking slightly befuddled by Joanne Anderson’s Scouse accent. It was followed by the allocation draw to decide which country performs in which semi-final. It’s a testament to the charisma of the hosts, Rylan and AJ Odudu, that what was effectively 30 minutes of pulling little cards out of bowls was presented so entertainingly. A nice touch was the inclusion of Ukrainian refugee children, now living in Liverpool and attending local schools.

We also got to see the first glimpses of how Liverpool is going to approach the event, with a beautiful short film scripted by Frank Cottrell-Boyce showcasing the city to viewers across Europe and beyond.

Then today, more excitement, as the stage design was unveiled. For now, it’s just some 3D computer renders, but soon it will be built for real in the Liverpool Arena.

There are less than 100 days until Eurovision is held in Liverpool, and hundreds of millions of eyeballs are focused on our city. It’s going to be a special time.