🇬🇧 #UK: Additional BBC #ESC23 Radio Programming

The BBC, the British national broadcaster, have announced additional programming that will air alongside the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, in Liverpool.

The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show

From Tuesday 9 May to Thursday 11 May, The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show celebrates Eurovision, with Zoe in London and Richie Anderson in Liverpool. Richie will be broadcasting from iconic locations across the city, meeting Eurovision legends and local super-fans.

Then on Friday 12 May Zoe and the team will be live from the centre of Liverpool ahead of a huge weekend for the city. Zoe will be joined by a host of special guests including Eurovision legends, super-fans and some of those involved in this year’s contest. Richie Anderson will be out and about, meeting people from across the continent and beyond who have travelled to Liverpool to join the party. Whether or not Richie will be dressed in an inflatable spacesuit is yet to be confirmed!

Jeremy Vine

The Jeremy Vine Show will come live from Liverpool on Friday 12 May and look at what the event means to Ukraine and Ukrainians who have fled the war to come here. Jeremy will get the latest from Kyiv and talk to Ukrainian musicians such as Kalush Orchestra, those who have had to settle in the UK to escape the conflict and charities in Liverpool who are helping them.

Scott Mills

Scott Mills will be broadcasting his show live from Liverpool on Wednesday 10 May and Friday 12 May with Richie Anderson in the hot seat presenting the show on Tuesday 9 May and Thursday 11 May (as Scott prepares to host the live Semi-Finals on BBC One and BBC iPlayer with Rylan).

Scott will be bringing all the gossip from the Semi-Finals as well as soaking up the city’s excitement. Expect to hear from contestants, fans and – no doubt – Scott’s Eurovision husband, Rylan!

Michelle Visage

Michelle Visage is obsessed with Eurovision; the frocks, the hair, the dancing, the drama! Hear for yourself as this Eurovision-eve (Friday 12 May) Michelle is going all out with the celebrations. For her Handbag Hits in the final half-hour of the show, Michelle will be playing non-stop Eurovision bops, ending with a dramatic Eurovision edition of Lip Sync anthem. As Michelle says every week: wherever you lay your handbag, that is your dance floor!

Eurovision Super Saturday (13 May)

Dermot O’Leary (8am-10am) In the build up to the Eurovision Grand Final across the day on Radio 2, Dermot – welcomes the United Kingdom’s 1969 Eurovision winner, Lulu, into the studio. She was actually the joint winner that year, with Boom Bang-a-Bang, sharing the honour with three other countries! Claudia Winkleman (10am-1pm) Ahead of the big night in Liverpool, Claudia builds up to the Grand Final with the best music and some very special guests. Your Ultimate UK Eurovision Song (1-3pm) It’s the UK Eurovision songs you never got to vote for, because we aren’t allowed to vote for our own entry… until now! The UK has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest a total of 64 times. In those years, we’ve witnessed iconic performances such as Lulu’s Boom Bang-a-Bang in 1969, Bucks Fizz with Making Your Mind Up in 1981, Katrina and the Waves with Love Shine a Light in 1997 and, most recently, Sam Ryder took second place at the 2022 Contest with his (inter)stellar performance of Space Man. In March, Radio 2 listeners were asked to cast up to five votes for their favourite songs of all the UK entrants that have competed in the Eurovision final since our first entry back in 1957 (with the exception of the cancelled 2020 contest and the 2023 entry). Today Steve Wright counts down the Top 40 songs as voted for by the public, unveiling Your Ultimate UK Eurovision Song in a programme offering listeners the chance to relive the music, memories and moments from past Eurovision contests. This programme will be available on BBC Sounds from Monday 24th April. Sophie Ellis Bextor’s Eurovision Kitchen Disco (3-6pm) Eurovision super-fan and Kitchen Disco Queen Sophie Ellis-Bextor brings you three hours of the best music from everyone’s favourite song contest. In the first hour, she’ll be playing wall-to-wall Eurovision winning songs – nothing but the champions! Featuring Månaskin, Netta, Måns Zelmerlöw, Conchita, Lordi, Alexander Rybak and loads more. In the second hour, Sophie shines a spotlight on the most famous names to compete in the contest, with classic entries from Celine Dion, ABBA, Olivia Newton-John, Jedward, Blue, Bucks Fizz… and Flo Rida! And in the third hour, Sophie is celebrating the songs that came oh so close to victory, as she plays the very best second place finishers in Eurovision history. Featuring Sam Ryder, Mahmood, Eleni Foureira, The Common Linnets, Barbara Pravi and many more. All Request Eurovision Party (6-8pm) Richie Anderson gets the UK ready for the Grand Final live as he plays two hours of Eurovision party requests from listeners. He’ll be hearing from parties, large and small, happening across the country before handing over to Scott Mills and Rylan in Liverpool. Eurovision Grand Final (8pm until the Grand Final finishes) Eurovision super-fans, Rylan and Scott Mills, will be live from Liverpool bringing the glitz and glamour of the Grand Final to BBC Radio 2. Scott Mills has been part of the BBC’s Eurovision team since 2011, when he commentated on the Semi-Finals live from Düsseldorf. Broadcaster Rylan has been involved in the contest since Lisbon 2018 – he also hosted this year’s Allocation Draw live from Liverpool in January. Both are life-long Eurovision fans and even have their own handbook, for tips and tricks behind the scenes at the contest. It will be the culmination of a week in the city for Scott and Rylan, as they are also hosting both the Semi-Finals live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. Meanwhile Scott’s afternoon show on Radio 2 will be broadcast live from Liverpool from Tuesday to Friday (2-4pm) that week. OJ’s Eurovision After Party (approx. 11.20pm-2am) The results might be in, but once the Grand Final has finished the Eurovision party continues with O.J. Borg with a show which will be simulcast with BBC Radio Merseyside. OJ will be making the most of this historic event, playing the hits of Eurovision past and present, and speaking to fans at the heart of the action in Liverpool and across the country.

BBC Radio 1

In the week leading up to Eurovision Radio 1’s Dean and Vicky (Monday – Thursday, 1pm – 3.30pm) will be broadcasting live from Liverpool. They’ll be soaking up all the atmosphere in and around the city with lots of exciting things planned.

The Archers

Eurovision fever has reached Ambridge, the setting of the longest-running serial radio drama of all time: BBC Radio 4’s The Archers. In a special episode broadcast on Friday 12 May at 7pm, the village will play host to Eurovision commentator Rylan, who will stop by Ambridge on his journey to Liverpool for this year’s song contest.

Rylan has been invited to Ambridge to judge the village’s Eurovision Variety Show – but trouble ensues when his sat-nav goes awry, and Ambridge residents find themselves competing to come to his rescue…

The Reunion – The Eurovision Song Contest

Kirsty Wark presents a special Eurovision Song Contest episode of The Reunion to discuss the early years of the competition. Joining Kirsty to reminisce is ‘Dana’ Rosemary Scallon who was still a schoolgirl when she won the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland with “All Kinds of Everything”, Phil Coulter who arranged that song and co-wrote a previous winner, “Puppet on a String”, renowned Eurovision academic Dean Vuletic, BBC broadcaster Pete Murray who commentated on the contest for much of the 50s and 60s, and pop royalty Lulu – who was already a well-established star when she won in 1969 with “Boom Bang a Bang.”

Front Row

Nick Ahad hosts a special edition of Front Row from Liverpool Central Library, with performance by the band Stealing Sheep, who are collaborating with Liverpool and Ukrainian musicians for the opening night of the EuroFestival. Writers Pete Paphides and Matt Cain discuss their novels featured in The Big Eurovision Read, which celebrates writing about music. And the former Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conductor Vasily Petrenko on his return to the city.

BBC Radio 5 Live

5live will be reflecting the excitement of the Song Contest broadcasting live from Liverpool as the city prepares to host Eurovision.


Eurovisioncast will be in Liverpool all week bringing listeners daily episodes during the build-up and reaction to the Semi-Finals, and of course, the Grand Final on 13 May. Joining hosts Måns Zelmerlöw, Nina Warhurst, Daniel Rosney and Ngunan Adamu will be this year’s acts and a raft of celebrity fans and Eurovision insiders. The podcast will be THE must listen for all the backstage gossip and insights, on BBC Sounds.

Celebrating Eurovision

Whether you’re a mega fan or gearing up to tune in for the first time, BBC Sounds has something for everyone to help soundtrack this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with Celebrating Eurovision, available now (April 19). Listeners can find the perfect accompaniment to the biggest music contest in the world with curated mixes, Eurovision specials and one off programmes that get to the heart of Eurovision, hosted by some of the biggest names from across the BBC. Fans can also enjoy hours of uninterrupted music shows celebrating ‘the greatest show on earth’ with Back To Back Sounds: Eurovision Party, available now on BBC Sounds.

Party Like It’s… Eurovision

The UK’s 2023 entrant Mae Muller picks an hour of her favourite party tunes ahead of her big night, for the first of two special episodes of Party Like It’s… Eurovision. Mae will also be talking about appearing at Eurovision and playing songs that are inspiring her staging and performance.

Join Jedward for an hour of their favourite Eurovision songs to get listeners in the mood for the big night. Ireland’s most iconic duo will also be sharing their memories of performing at Eurovision and giving the finalists tips on how to make the most of their big moment, the way that only Jedward can. Available on Back To Back Sounds: Eurovision Party is on BBC Sounds now.

Eurovision Dance Party

Eurovision has a history of delivering first-class dance floor hits and party anthems. BBC Sounds is inviting five of the UK’s biggest DJs to create the ultimate set of Eurovision Dance Party playlists. Join Sigala, Sam Feldt, 220 Kid, Jess Bays and Zoe London for the freshest dance take on Eurovision yet. Available on Back To Back Sounds: Eurovision Party on BBC Sounds now.

Melanie C’s Pride of Liverpool

Called the ‘City of Pop’ by the Guinness Book of Records, owing to the amount of Number One records recorded by artists from the city, Liverpool has dominated the charts for over 50 years. Across two episodes, Melanie C will celebrate Liverpool by picking her favourite music from the city – from The Beatles to Atomic Kitten, via Cilla and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Melanie also shares her own memories of growing up there, giving a background to the musical heritage of the place.  A Radio 2 commission for BBC Sounds, available now on Back To Back Sounds: Eurovision Party.

When Ireland Ruled Eurovision

Despite not winning for over 25 years, Ireland still holds the record for the most wins at Eurovision. Six of their seven wins came in their glory years of the 80s and 90s – an era that Dermot O’Leary remembers well. Growing up in an Irish family in Britain, Eurovision was an annual event they always got behind.

Winning Eurovision then was a chance not only to celebrate, but to show a different side of Ireland. Hosting the event in 1981, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1997, the country was unified in a joyous way and given a chance to be truly, purely proud of their small nation.

During the programme, Dermot chats to the Irish winners of his youth and plays archive material and performances. He is also joined by fellow Irish Eurovision fans Aisling Bea, Louis Walsh, Ardal O’Hanlon, Angela Scanlon, Dara Ó Briain, and Patrick Kielty to hear what Eurovision at that time meant to them. A Radio 2 commission for BBC Sounds, available now.

Eurovision Described

Around one in 200 of the population is registered blind or partially sighted. Eurovision Described fuses audio description with musical storytelling to deliver accessible content for everyone. Each episode will focus on a different iconic Eurovision performance from 1956 to today, bringing to life the visual moment for those who are blind or partially sighted.

Presenter Lucy Edwards, Radio 1’s first blind presenter, a journalist and content creator who loves Eurovision, will be joined by comedian Abi Clarke – another huge Eurovision fan. Be prepared for their thoughts on the plane-inspired staging for Scooch in 2007 to the catchy dance routine from Brotherhood of Man in 1976. Available on BBC Sounds now.

Good Evening Europe

Millions of people across Europe enjoy Eurovision every year, and the stats are huge. 99.9% of all TV audiences in Iceland are watching Eurovision on the night it’s held and Sweden’s Eurovision selection show is the country’s biggest television show of the year. Ukrainian Eurovision commentator Timur Myroshnychenko explores the continent’s love for the contest through the eyes of its commentators.

Timur memorably described his own country’s victory from a bomb shelter in Kyiv, and now he’s travelling to Liverpool for this year’s contest. Along the way, he will speak to those people who provide the voice of the contest in their homelands to share a unique insight into how different parts of the continent view Eurovision, and how it interacts with their own individual ideas of identity, cultural celebration and more. Available on BBC Sounds now.

Sam Ryder My Life in a Mixtape

Following an electrifying performance at Eurovision last year, a Number One album and a BRIT nomination, the Essex-born musician was undeniably 2022’s feel-good breakthrough act. Celebrating this year’s Eurovision Song Contest being right here in the UK for the first time in 25 years, Radio 2 spends an intimate, musical hour with Eurovision’s golden guy – Sam Ryder. Choosing musical memories and personal moments from his childhood through to the present day, Sam shares the songs and memories that have been the soundtrack to his life so far. A Radio 2 commission for BBC Sounds, available now.

Danny Beard’s Beginner Guide to Eurovision

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK winner Danny Beard loves Liverpool and loves Eurovision! Across this six-part series, they’re bringing together the campest Eurovision hits for a celebration of LGBTQ+ anthems. Danny will deliver a Pride-inspired selection of feel-great hits that will ignite living-room-dancefloors across the UK as well as bring Eurovision to life for new fans. A Radio 1 commission for BBC Sounds, available now.

Scott and Rylan’s Epic Eurovision Battle

Eurovision super-fans Scott Mills and Rylan are going head-to-head in an Eurovision battle. Across two programmes, both will bring their A-game and every ounce of their Eurovision knowledge and enthusiasm in response to a series of categories, as decided by their fellow Radio 2 presenter, Michelle Visage.

What will they go for in the Cheesiest Song category? Which entry would they most like to perform in drag? And which one are they most likely to use as an insult? Which Eurovision song that doesn’t sound like a Eurovision song is their favourite? What is their favourite interval performance? And, the big question, their favourite Eurovision song of all-time? The champion title is within reach for one of them so expect high drama, high notes and high camp; it’s about the frocks, the shocks, the bangers and the bops… but who will win? A Radio 2 commission for BBC Sounds, available now.

BBC Radio Merseyside

For the first time in the history of Eurovision, and to celebrate the contest being hosted in Liverpool, you will be able to listen to an alternative Scouse commentary of the Grand Final

By listening to BBC Radio Merseyside on BBC Sounds or by pressing the Red Button from BBC One you’ll hear proud Liverpudlian and West End star Claire Sweeney delivering Eurovision as it’s never been heard before!

Joining Claire will be a member of the public who has been crowned Radio Merseyside’s ‘Voice of Eurovision’, a titled earned from a talent search competition launched by Radio Merseyside in February and judged by Sonia and Radio Industry heavyweights.

BBC Local Radio

On the eve of the Grand Final, BBC Local Radio will bring all the excitement and atmosphere from the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool followed by Sam Ryder’s Eurovision Special, 8pm-10pm across all local BBC radio stations and BBC Sounds.

Sam Ryder’s Eurovision Special will also air the following day from 12pm.

BBC Radio Wales

Radio Wales will be hosting a Eurovision pre-show party from 5 until 8pm. The station’s very own H will be playing all the Eurovision classics before broadcasting live from the official screening at Depot in Cardiff in the company of diehard Eurovision superfans.

BBC Radio Ulster

BBC NI weatherman and Eurovision super-fan Barra Best explores Northern Ireland’s vast and varied connection to the competition.

Barra will be joined by former Eurovision winners Niamh Kavanagh, Linda Martin, Katrina Leskanich (sadly without the Waves) and lots of other special guests

Join Barra on Saturday 13 May from 5pm-6pm for some music, craic and the ultimate warm-up for this year’s final.

BBC Radio Scotland

The newsroom will report on the Scots travelling to Liverpool, Afternoons will feature A Song for Scotland and a look back at previous Eurovision’s and there’ll be requests on relevant themes on Get it On.

BBC Radio Nan Gàidheal

BBC Radio Nan Gàidheal will be following the competition in their daily programmes and hearing from the audience both at the event and at planned Eurovision-themed events in local communities.

Let us know what you think about the United Kingdom and the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest – either in the comments below or on our FACEBOOK and TWITTER pages.

Author: Richard Taylor

Source: BBC

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