The BBC has confirmed that Sheffield and Manchester have already committed to submit official bids to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, alongside London.
The event will take place in the UK next year after the show’s organisers decided it could not be held in the 2022 winning country, Ukraine, given the ongoing Russian invasion of the country.
The UK’s Sam Ryder came second this year, which led to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) suggesting the UK for next year’s final, with agreement now reached with the BBC following talks which began last month.
Several more UK cities are believed to be interested in hosting the event, including Northern powerhouses Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle.
Mykola Chernotytskyi, the head of Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC, said: “We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us.” She added that UA: PBC would work alongside the BBC to give the show “Ukrainian elements.”
The UK has previously hosted the event eight times, more than any other country, including taking over from countries who declined or were unable to host on four occasions. The UK last hosted in Birmingham in 1998, following Katrina and the Waves’ win the previous year. Other UK cities to have played host to Europe’s finest popsters include Harrogate, Brighton, Edinburgh and London.
The bidding process to decide which city will host will begin this week, and the BBC and the EBU will publish the first longlist later this summer.