For the first time in its history, the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live in cinemas across the UK.
The European Broadcasting Union, who runs the event, has confirmed the grand final of this year’s Contest – to take place in the northern UK city of Liverpool on May 13th – will be beamed into cinemas, where they also encourage fancy dress and singalongs.
After many years of Brits slighting the event, which they haven’t won since 1997, Eurovision has caught the imagination in the UK this year, following the British entry Sam Ryder’s second place last year.
Ukraine won, but the UK will be hosting in its place, while the war continues in the eastern European country.
Tickets for seats in the Liverpool arena – for the grand-final plus two semi-finals and rehearsals – were sold out within 40 minutes of going on sale.
In other Eurovision news:
TikTok has been confirmed the contest’s entertainment partner for the second year, meaning it will stream the event live on its platform
This announcement comes the same week as the UK Parliament confirmed it would block the Chinese-owned app from its devices and networks due to security concerns. Similar concerns have been voiced in the US congress.
The Eurovision executive supervisor for the EBU, Martin Osterdahl, said:
“Millions of new Eurovision Song Contest fans discovered the event through TikTok last year and we know millions more will be excited by this year’s extra special event in Liverpool.”
The contest will be hosted by chat show host Graham Norton who has previously commentated for the BBC, Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham, Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina.