Official keys of Eurovision Song Contest are handed from the previous host city Turin to Liverpool
Baku, February 1, AZERTAC
The official keys of the Eurovision Song Contest have been handed from the previous host city Turin to Liverpool in a grand ceremony, according to Dailymail.
Ukrainian tears of gratitude flowed after Britain stepped in to host the competition on their behalf with a prediction this year's event in Liverpool will be 'the best show ever'.
Mayor of Turin Stefano Lo Russo and the mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, sealed the handover, known as the Insignia, with a handshake.
It was announced Britain would be hosts after it was decided that Ukraine could not hold the event for 'safety and security reasons'.
The Ukrainian entry, Kalush Orchestra, won the annual competition last year in an emotional victory in Turin, Italy, and it is traditional that the winning country hosts the event the following year.
The international music show will take place at the 11,000-capacity Liverpool Arena in May, culminating in the grand final on May 13.
The ceremony hall in Liverpool was also decorated with the newly unveiled branding and slogan for 2023 Eurovision, which is in the colour scheme of blue and yellow in honour of Ukraine.
During the ceremony, which was broadcast on BBC Two, Mr Lo Russo said to Ms Anderson: 'A little bit of advice - enjoy the event, include everybody, engage the whole city, be proud for such an incredible international stage for you, for Ukraine and for peace.'
She thanked him for his kind words, adding: 'For me, it started on Sunday when we met and you talked about all the wonderful impact that Eurovision has had on your city.
'I'm really proud to be able to host Eurovision for Liverpool but especially proud to do it on behalf of Ukraine.'
The event held at St George's Hall in Liverpool was presented by Rylan Clark and AJ Odudu, who also revealed which countries would compete in which semi-final for the song contest.
A total of 37 countries are set to take part in Eurovision this year , with Ukraine automatically qualifying as 2022's winners as well as the so-called 'big five' UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain - who each get a free pass because of their financial contributions to the event.
It was announced that the 15 countries who will be performing in the first semi-final on May 9 include Ireland, Serbia, Latvia, Norway, Portugal, Croatia, Malta, Sweden, Moldova, Switzerland, Israel, the Netherlands, Finland, Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, semi-final two on May 11 will see Armenia, Cyprus, Romania, Denmark, Belgium, Iceland, Greece, Estonia, Albania, Australia, Austria, Lithuania, San Marino, Slovenia, Georgia and Poland go head to head.
Text contains orthographic mistake
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