Rylan Clark on hosting Eurovision 2023: “I don’t need to prepare”
"I feel like I don’t need to prepare for it, I’m just gonna go and do it."
Now that we're firmly in 2023, the official Eurovision countdown can commence. The major final event is taking place on 13th May in Liverpool this year, making it the sixth UK city to host the musical extravaganza.
Liverpool will be hosting the Song Contest in place of Ukraine, who won the 2022 Eurovision Song contest but is unable to host due to the ongoing war with Russia.
While it's a little way off until the big contest itself, the draw to determine the participating countries' semi-finals will take place later this month on 31st January with live coverage on the BBC, which will be presented by AJ Odudu and Rylan Clark.
The show will also see the mayor of 2022’s host city, Turin, handing over the official keys of the Eurovision Song Contest, known as the Insignia, to the mayor of Liverpool, as the unique look and slogan of the 2023 contest is unveiled.
Presenter Clark spoke exclusively to Radio Times magazine about his upcoming live presenting role - and he appears to have it all under control. When asked if he does anything to prepare for it in the latest issue of the magazine, he said: "I’m very much immersed in Eurovision. I’ve watched the allocation draws from other countries every year, so I’m up on who’s going to be representing who in what country when it’s been announced.
"For me, it’s pretty much like watching This Morning for years, and then going and hosting. I feel like I don’t need to prepare for it, I’m just gonna go and do it."
He added: "Yeah, I’ll be all right. I always find that when you’ve got someone doing that type of job, if they love what they’re actually talking about, it makes it more authentic and more real."
On the night of the draw itself, he describes himself like the National Lottery's Alan Dedicoat, explaining: "We’re going to be revealing which act is going to be taking part in which semi-final. Myself and AJ are going to be hosting. We’re gonna kick off Eurovision 2023 with the fanfare it deserves!"
Although many UK fans are naturally excited for the major Song Contest to be taking place on home turf, the fact that Liverpool is hosting rather than Ukraine is a bittersweet moment. Clark said: "I see it as an honour. It’s absolutely terrible what’s going on out in Ukraine. I’m just grateful that we’re able to sort of throw Ukraine’s party over here in the UK, giving them the celebration they deserve."
More like this
With the final of the contest on 13th May, Clark also revealed that the thing he's most looking forward to is "see[ing] everyone" and a "night out" in official party venue EuroClub.
He added: "My one thing I look forward to is being able to be a punter, and be in a different country where I’m not known. The problem is this year it’s on home turf – people are gonna know who I am, so I need to be a bit better behaved!"
The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest Handover and Allocation Draw will air live from Liverpool on Tuesday 31st January on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer – listen to all of last year's Eurovision songs on TIDAL, while the full album of tracks is available on CD and vinyl now.
You can also check out the full list of Eurovision winners and how many times the UK has won Eurovision here. If you're looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.