The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in Liverpool has become the most-watched grand final in history, the BBC has said.
The live broadcast saw an average of 9.9 million viewers and a peak of 11 million tune in to watch Swedish pop superstar Loreen make history and British entrant Mae Muller finish second-from-bottom, according to overnight ratings.
It has broken the previous ratings record which saw an average of 9.5 million people watch UK entry Blue compete in the competition in 2011 with the song I Can.
Last year, 8.9 million people tuned in to watch British hopeful Sam Ryder win over the audience with his uplifting pop song Space Man, which placed second to Ukraine in the competition in Turin, Italy.
BBC director of unscripted Kate Phillips said: ‘What an incredible contest. It was unforgettable, unmissable event television on a scale never seen before delivered by the BBC to viewers across the UK and millions more watching around the world.
‘Sweden took home the trophy in spectacular style and 2022 winners Ukraine were at the heart of the show. Liverpool welcomed the world’s biggest singing competition with open arms and embraced it beyond all of our expectations.
‘The fact that so many millions of people tuned in reflects just how significant Eurovision has become and truly underlines the theme behind this year’s contest, United by Music. We really hope we did Ukraine proud.’
A dramatic evening saw Sweden’s Loreen with Tattoo and Finland’s Käärijä with Cha Cha Cha battle it out at the top of the leader board until the final moment, when Lorreen final total was annoounced as 583 to Käärijä’s 526.
Unfortunately for the UK’s entrant Mae Muller and her entry I Wrote A Song, which was last in the running order, we finished near the bottom once more on 24 points, ahead of only Germany on 18, who took 26th and final place.
The grand final was hosted in fantastic style by Eurovision stalwart Graham Norton (who remarkably pulled double duty in the commentary booth too), alongside Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham, Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha Dixon and Ukraine’s Julia Sanina.
The audience was also kept entertained by appearances from the likes of Sonia, who represented the United Kingdom at Eurovision in 1993 with her song Better the Devil You Know, and a surprsie cameo from a piano-playing Princess of Wales.
There was also the usual drama when it came to results time, delightful campness throughout and even an awkwardly misheard shout out from Sam Ryder, who had the honour of Queen’s Roger Taylor on drums for his performance of new single Mountain.
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