Eurovision 2023

Grand finale to be shown in cinemas for first time

Published : 24 Mar 2023 09:48 PM

The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest will be broadcast live in cinemas across the UK for the first time, it has been announced.

Liverpool will host the event on Saturday 13 May, following two semi-finals earlier in the week.

Organisers say the screenings will encourage fancy dress and singalongs.

In-person tickets for the grand final at the Liverpool Arena sold out in under 40 minutes after being released earlier this month.

Separately, it has also been confirmed that TikTok will be the contest's official entertainment partner for a second year.

John Travers of CinemaLive, who will distribute the event to cinemas, said the company was "delighted" to be working with the BBC to bring the contest to the big screen.

"We want audiences to enjoy themselves, come along in groups, get your fancy dress on, and come together to enjoy this historic occasion on the big screen," he said.

Tickets for the cinema screenings, broadcast in more than 500 cinemas, will be available to buy from 10:00 BST Monday (27 March).

Audiences will also be able to see a preview of the new BBC Three dating show I Kissed A Boy, presented by Dannii Minogue, before the grand final starts at 20:00 BST.

The contest is being held in Liverpool after last year's UK entrant Sam Ryder finished runner-up to Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra.

As Russia's invasion of Ukraine prevented the winning country from hosting the 2023 contest, organisers instead said the UK would stage the show on their behalf.

The contest will be hosted by Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham, Britain's Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon, Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina, and chat show host Graham Norton, who also commentates on Eurovision for British TV audiences.

Mae Muller has been chosen as this year's entry for the UK with her track I Wrote A Song.

Meanwhile, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) confirmed it had selected TikTok to livestream the competition, as well as release exclusive performances and behind-the-scenes content.

It came as the UK Parliament said on Thursday that it would block the Chinese-owned app from its devices and networks over security concerns.

Martin Osterdahl, the EBU's executive supervisor for Eurovision, 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."

TikTok is also partnering with Visit Liverpool after the city was chosen to host the contest on behalf of last year's winners Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.

The social media app will promote busking sites in the city and host performances in the Eurovision Village - the official fanzone - on Friday 12 May, the evening before the grand final.