Graham Norton rules himself out as host of Eurovision 2023

During a recent appearance on ITV’s magazine show This Morning regarding next year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Graham Norton, peerless BBC commentator and perennial favourite to host the show, appeared to talk down his opportunity of hosting the show.

When he asked Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby “Have you thrown your hats into the ring to host?”, Willoughby’s reply was “Well, that’s your job, surely?”, to which Norton replied: “I don’t want to give up the commentating. If I stop commentating, someone else will do it and they might be better than me and then I’ll lose that job.” He then floated that the most he might be involved on-stage would be to “wander on and wave for a bit, and then run back to my rabbit hutch and put my ear things back on.”

Those in the know may remember that Holly Willoughby actually has some experience with the brand, having co-hosted the UK national final for Junior Eurovision in 2004, alongside Stephen Mulhern and Michael Underwood, who she co-hosted children’s Saturday morning show Ministry of Mayhem with at the time.

Hosting and commentating on the same Eurovision Song Contest is not as outlandish an idea as it might seem, as that was exactly what Norton’s predecessor, the late Sir Terry Wogan, did in 1998, alongside Ulrikka Jonsson. However, Norton said he believed this was “not possible in this day and age”, probably referring to the addition of semi-finals and gruelling hours Contest hosts must now put in.

When it comes to who will actually host the show, British fans have speculated the likes of BBC semi-final commentators Scott Mills and Rylan Clark, as well as comedian and former Eurovision: You Decide host Mel Giedroyc, Strictly Come Dancing‘s Claudia Winkelman and Love Island winner Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu. There has also been speculation that the BBC will have a mix of British and Ukrainian hosts, potentially with UA:PBC commentator and 2017 host Timur Miroshnychenko joining the line-up.

This week, it was announced that either Glasgow or Liverpool will host the 2023 Contest out of the seven shortlisted cities, neither of which has hosted before. The UK hosted the Contest in London four times, as well as in Edinburgh, Brighton, Harrogate and, most recently, Birmingham. Norton welcomed the decision, saying they are both “beautiful cities” with “big music traditions”.

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