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All you need to know about the Eurovision song contest 2023

Stars like Rylan Clark, Hannah Waddingham and Alesha Dixon are taking care of live coverage  

Graham Norton; Alesha Dixon; Julia Sanina; Hannah Waddingham for 2023 Eurovision
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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We can't believe it's been a whole year since Sam Ryder put the UK back on the Eurovision map with his mega-hit Space Man – catapulting us to second place from the bottom of the leaderboard in… a long time. 

The 2023 competition looks equally gripping, and this year's run of live shows are doubly special because although we didn't come in first place, the UK has the honour and huge respect of hosting the epic event on behalf of Ukraine. Due to the ongoing conflict, the UK took the reins and will be paying tribute to Ukraine and last year's winners throughout the ceremony with a fitting "United in Music" theme.

WATCH: Liverpool welcomes the Eurovision competitors

Excitement is building thanks to the first live semi-final taking place on Tuesday evening. Before tuning into the show, find out everything there is to know about this year's annual song contest below. 

When is the Eurovision song contest 2023 taking place? 

The first live semi-final of the Eurovision song contest begins on Tuesday 9 May and will air on BBC One at 8pm. The show will be broadcast live from the arena in Liverpool with the famous hosts welcoming fifteen different acts to the stage to compete for a place in the grand final. There'll also be special performances from Rebecca Ferguson and Rita Ora. 

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Alesha Dixon, Hannah Waddingham and Julia Sanina are hosting Eurovision 2023
Alesha Dixon, Hannah Waddingham and Julia Sanina are the main hosts this year

The second semi-final live show will take place on Thursday 11 May at the same time and will see a further 16 acts compete for a coveted spot in the final. The grand finale will then air on BBC One at 9 pm on Saturday 13 May. 

Who is hosting the Eurovision song contest 2023?

There are some big names lending their hand to Eurovision this year. Fans can look forward to seeing Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham take to the stage as host as well as Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina and Britain's Got Talent star Alesha Dixon. 

It wouldn't be Eurovision without Graham Norton. The legendary chat show host will offer his brilliantly scathing and hilarious commentary throughout the finale alongside Mel Giedroyc. Meanwhile, Rylan Clarke and Scott Mills will also be on hand to offer their commentary and presenting skills on the night. 

Scott Mills; Mel Giedroyc; Rylan, Graham Norton for Eurovision© Ray Burmiston
Scott Mills, Mel Giedroyc, Rylan, Graham Norton are all taking part in this year's commentary for Eurovision

Fans can also look forward to seeing last year's winners Kalush Orchestra take to the stage for a very special performance and Sam Ryder will also be there to show off his incredible vocals to the live audience. Also performing are Mahmood, Sonia and Netta. 

Sam Ryder during the final of the Eurovision Song contest 2022© Getty
Sam Ryder came in second place in 2022

Who is representing the UK in this year's Eurovision? 

Hoping to replicate Sam Ryder's success of last year is the wonderfully talent singer Mae Muller. The artist, 26, wrote the song I Wrote a Song, a catchy dance number that we think will go down a treat with judges and the crowds. 

Mae, who has previously toured with Little Mix, explained on Tik Tok that the inspiration for the song was a cheating boyfriend. "I was really annoyed at this guy. I wanted to do something crazy, maybe burn his house down, I don't know. But instead I took the high road and I wrote a song. And that's called growth, ladies and gentlemen."

Mae Muller attends Eurovision party ahead of song contest© Peter Byrne - PA Images
Mae Muller attends Eurovision party ahead of song contest

How to watch the Eurovision song contest? 

The live semi-finals taking place on Tuesday and Thursday will air on BBC One at 8pm. The live grand finale will also air on BBC One at 8 pm on Saturday 13 May. 

Where is Eurovision taking place? 

Although Ukraine were the winners last year, the country ruled that they would not be able to host the event due to the ongoing conflict there. Instead, the UK, as the second place country, is hosting and after a round of votes last year, it was decided that Liverpool was the winning city.

The semi-finals and the final will be held at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool city centre. 

The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 stage in Liverpool© Nick Robinson
The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is being held in Liverpool
The Eurovision 2023 hosts at media launch
The Eurovision 2023 hosts

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