Six Aberdeen politicians have put their name to a joint letter petitioning the BBC to back a bid to bring the Eurovision Song Contest to the Granite City next year.
The EBU have now begun talks with the BBC to host the show in the UK, who were runners-up thanks to Sam Ryder’s track Spaceman.
Several cities have already expressed an interest in hosting the 2023 contest – and six of Aberdeen’s political representatives have come together to throw the north east city’s hat into the ring.
MPs Kirsty Blackman, Richard Thomson and Stephen Flynn, and MSPs Kevin Stewart, Audrey Nicoll and Jackie Dunbar say Aberdeen could “match any city in the world” in putting on a spectacular show.
In a letter addressed to BBC director-general Tim Davie, the six SNP reps have suggested that the city’s TECA complex – also known as P&J Live – could host the show.
TECA was previously the venue for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards in 2019.
“We believe that Aberdeen is perfectly placed in terms of infrastructure, cultural offering and sheer enthusiasm to hold the event,” the letter said.
“At a capacity of 15,000 and surrounded by hotels, P&J Live is just two miles from Aberdeen International Airport and minutes away from our city centre.
“All of us wish Ukraine was in a position to host the contest next year, but we feel very strongly that Aberdeen can deliver a show that will match any city in the world.”
The EDC opened talks with the BBC to bring Eurovision back to the UK in 2023 after concluding that 2022 winners Ukraine could not meet the “security and operational guarantees required” to host the show.
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra finished first – but as runners up in this year’s show after Sam Ryder finished second with Space Man, the UK is the next pick as hosts for 2023.
In a posting on the official Eurovision Twitter account, the EBU said that assurances over the show’s safety could not be fulfilled by Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC due to the ongoing Russian invasion.
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However, UA:PBC said contest bosses have “denied Ukraine the right to host Eurovision 2023” without proper consultation.
It said it had offered up three potential locations to host the show.
Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of the managing board of the Ukrainian broadcaster, added: “It is a pity to see such an unappealable statement, therefore, we ask our partners to hold further negotiations.”
Aberdeen could have some competition to be named Eurovision host city next year.
Liverpool’s mayor Joanne Anderson has confirmed the city would be interested in hosting the event, while First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has thrown her support behind putting on the show at the OVO Hydro in Glasgow.
Other potential candidates include Leeds, London, Manchester and Cardiff.
In a statement to the PA news agency, Hydro operator Scottish Event Campus (SEC) said: “We are naturally disappointed that, as announced, Ukraine will not be able to host Eurovision 2023.
“If Glasgow is being considered as a potential host city for the event, we’d be delighted to take part in that conversation.”
The UK has hosted the contest eight times so far: four times in London and once each in Edinburgh, Brighton, Harrogate and Birmingham.
Hosting the event in Glasgow would be a fitting follow-up to Scotland’s appearance in the Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.
The comedy flick, which starred Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as fictional Icelandic musicians hoping to win the competition, saw the iconic contest take place in Edinburgh.
However, the filmmakers relocated Glasgow’s Hydro Arena to the capital for the movie’s finale – to the amusement of Scots viewers.
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