Get to know the hosts of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool
Host-broadcaster BBC announced the awesome foursome hosting this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool back in February, but what do we know about the talented people guiding us through the twists and turns of the live shows?
Given the somewhat unusual format of the United Kingdom hosting on behalf of Ukraine, our hosts for 2023 are a mix of internationally-known faces and local talent from both nations.
Ukrainian singer-songwriter Julia Sanina, BAFTA-winning talk show host Graham Norton, Emmy-winning actor and musical theatre powerhouse Hannah Waddingham, and popstar-turned-TV presenter Alesha Dixon will be sharing hosting duties across the Grand Final.
For the two Semi-Finals, Graham will remain in the commentary booth and leave hosting duties to the three musically-gifted performers. Surely I'm not the only one desperately hoping for a song and dance number from the talented trio at some point during the broadcast?
Yuliia Oleksandrivna Bebko, better known to her fans as Julia Sanina, is the front woman of alt-rock band 'The Hardkiss' and a household name in Ukraine. She's no stranger to the Contest, with her band placing second in the Ukrainian national selection program 'Vidbir' back in 2016.
Julia has television experience too, making it to the finals of the Ukrainian version of 'Dancing with the Stars', judging on the seventh season of 'X-Factor Ukraine', and more recently returned to 'Vidbir' to help select the Ukrainian entrant for 2023.
Having commentated on the UK broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest since 2009, Graham is somewhat of a local Eurovision legend. Internationally, he's better known for his long-running chat show 'The Graham Norton Show' where he gets to regularly interview the biggest names in showbiz. He's also familiar to overseas viewers as a judge on 'RuPaul's Drag Race UK' and host of drag talent show 'Queens of the Universe'.
Much like his co-hosts, Graham is no slouch and has also racked up credits as an actor, radio presenter and best-selling author of both fiction and non-fiction books. As for describing Kate Miller-Heidke's iconic 2019 performance of 'Zero Gravity' as "if windscreen wipers could sing", I have forgiven but not forgotten.
Hannah burst onto our screens in 2020 as wealthy football club owner Rebecca Welton in worldwide hit comedy series 'Ted Lasso', for which she deservedly took home an Emmy. However, Hannah was no overnight success, with minor roles in hit TV shows 'Game of Thrones' and 'Sex Education', as well as a decades-long career in musical theatre across the West End and Broadway.
Off the back of hosting the 2023 Olivier Awards, Hannah's magnetic personality, four-octave vocal range, sense of humour and worldwide recognition make her the perfect choice to co-host this year's Contest.
Alesha is not only a globally-recognised television presenter and children's author, she's a successful singer and rapper with a music career stretching back to the late 90s.
As part of UK girl group Mis-Teeq, Alesha notched up two top 10 albums, and seven consecutive top 10 singles in the UK, before going on to a successful solo career.
In 2007 she took home the 'Strictly Come Dancing' trophy, which helped rejuvenate her career and led to her briefly returning to 'Strictly' as a judge. In recent years Alesha appears to be on a mission to discover the next big thing in entertainment, working as a judge on 'Britain's Got Talent', 'America's Got Talent: The Champions' and 'Australia's Got Talent'.
It's safe to say the BBC has chosen four very different people who will each bring a unique flavour to the live shows. All four of our presenters for the Contest in Liverpool have experience in live television and performance, but more importantly are 'United By Music'.
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