Paul O'Grady makes posthumous appearance in heartwarming Eurovision film

paul o’grady, welcome to liverpool, eurovision 2023
Paul O'Grady makes appearance in Eurovision filmBBC

A new advert for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 has been released, which features a posthumous appearance from Paul O'Grady.

The contest takes place this week in Liverpool, with the UK hosting on behalf of Ukraine. The Eurovision grand final takes place this weekend (13 May).

In preparation, the BBC has released a heartwarming short film that features Merseyside-born O'Grady in one of his last filming commitments before his sad passing in March aged 67. His posthumous appearance, as he cleans at home with one of his beloved dogs tucked under his arm, was agreed with his loved ones' blessing.

paul o’grady, welcome to liverpool, eurovision 2023

The clip sees a young Liverpudlian boy learning that the contest is coming to his home city, as he excitedly tells everyone he meets.

'Welcome to Liverpool' also features cameos from famous faces including The Great British Bake Off's Paul Hollywood, The Royle Family's Ricky Tomlinson (in a nod to his Brookside role as Bobby Grant) and Strictly Come Dancing star Nikita Kuzmin, who is from Ukraine.

Also making appearances are Drag Race UK star Sister Sister, Everton and Ukraine footballer Vitalii Mykolenko, and Liverpool FC women's footballers Sofie Lungaard and Emma Koivisto.

graham norton, eurovision

The UK is hosting this year's contest on behalf of last year's winners Ukraine due to the ongoing Russian invasion of the country.

The Eurovision semi-finals take place today (May 9) and Thursday (May 11), with Ted Lasso's Hannah Waddingham, Britain's Got Talent's Alesha Dixon and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina hosting.

The trio will go on to oversee the Grand Final on Saturday alongside Eurovision legend Graham Norton, who will also alternate with Bake Off's Mel Giedroyc in the commentary box.

This year's UK entry is Mae Muller, who is hoping to follow in Sam Ryder's successful footsteps last year with her entry 'I Wrote A Song'.

The Eurovision Song Contest began on 9 May with the first Semi-Final at 8pm on BBC One, with the Grand Final airing on Saturday 13 May.

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