Belfast is among the cities to miss out following the BBC's announcement of the seven-strong shortlist to host next year's Eurovision Song Contest instead of Ukraine.

The shortlisted cities chosen by the BBC are: Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

The Eurovision's organiser, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), previously decided the 2023 event could not be held in Ukraine, as a result of the Russian invasion.

This was despite the country's 2022 entry Kalush Orchestra triumphing at this year's competition in Turin, Italy, where the UK's Sam Ryder was runner-up.

In a statement announcing the shortlist, the BBC said: "Seven cities have been shortlisted based on their ability to meet a set of minimum requirements that demonstrate they have the capacity, capability and experience to host an event of this scale and complexity.

"Given the short period of time available until the event will be staged, the selection process was heavily weighted towards demonstrating past experience in hosting major international events, as well as being able to demonstrate their credentials in hosting a celebration of contemporary music."

"The Host City selection process is a two-stage process and these seven cities will now go through to the second and final stage, where they will be asked to develop their bids in more detail. The selection of the Host City for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will be decided by the BBC in conjunction with the EBU, and the successful city will be announced in the Autumn," the statement added.

Next year will be the ninth time Eurovision has taken place in the UK - more than any other country.

Ukraine will automatically qualify for the grand final alongside the so-called big five nations - the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, who each get a free pass because of their financial contributions to the event.

Additional Reporting: Press Association

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