Set your alarms for 19:00 GMT (20:00 CET) on January 31st! Both the host city Handover and the all-important Allocation Draws for Eurovision 2023 will be broadcast live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, and the official Eurovision YouTube channel.
The show will be hosted by presenter and Eurovision superfan Rylan Clark, alongside AJ Odudu, who presented the UK’s points at last year’s Grand Final.
The Insignia Handover (or host city handover) is an ongoing tradition which began with Helsinki in 2007. Each host city adds their own special symbol to a massive Eurovision keychain; then, when their time as Eurovision host comes to an end, they pass the keychain on to the next host city. This year, the Mayor of Turin Stefano Lo Russo shall hand the keys to Liverpool’s Mayor Joanne Anderson.
The Allocation Draw will determine which Semi-Final each country will compete in. Countries have been arranged into pots based upon historic voting patterns, with the aim of insuring that countries who traditionally support one another are less likely to share a Semi-Final.
This year, in a tribute to the spirit of collaboration between 2022 winners Ukraine and the United Kingdom, the draw will partially be conducted by young people from Liverpool, as well as Ukrainians who have settled in Liverpool since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The show will be broadcast live from Liverpool’s St. George’s Hall. According to the BBC, the Handover and Allocation Draws mark “the start of Eurovision season and will be the first opportunity for our host city to show the world what awaits them in 2023.”
Indeed, the show will give the world its first look at the slogan, theme and branding for Eurovision 2023.
The BBC airing the show on BBC Two shows the broadcaster’s continued enthusiasm for hosting the Contest this year — recently, the broadcaster aired Junior Eurovision on BBC One, as well as theming its New Year’s programming around Sam Ryder and Eurovision. It is certainly an encouraging sign for their hosting!