Councillor reveals dream for Stadium of Light to host Eurovision
Organisers of the annual song competition are in talks with the BBC to ‘potentially host’ the 2023 event… and city councillor Dominic McDonough wants to see the show come to Sunderland. He is urging city leaders to put together a bid to the BBC in order to bring the world’s biggest music contest to the city.
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the competition this year and it is traditional that the winning country hosts the event the following year.
But the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has said that following a ‘full assessment and feasibility study’ it has concluded the ‘security and operational guarantees’ required to host the event cannot be fulfilled by Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC while the Russian invasion continues.
The contest, which has a worldwide viewership of over 300million, has been hosted in a number of diverse locations over the years including Harrogate and even Millstreet, a town of only 1,500 people in 1
Eurovision superfan Coun McDonough said he believed Sunderland had the facilities required to host the contest and it would put the city on the map across Europe and beyond.
“Sunderland has the facilities to host, with the Stadium of Light being a perfect venue and the Beacon of Light being a perfect space to host the press centre and Euroclub,” he said.
“The amount of tourism and media interest that it would bring to the area would be a game changer. As a city we should be ambitious and this would be the ultimate prize.”
Coun McDonough, a Conservative member for St Chad’s ward, says he will be writing to city council leader and chief executive as well as to BBC executives to make the case for Sunderland, with a decision expected later this year.
Downing Street has welcomed the possibility of the UK hosting Eurovision if Ukraine cannot.A No 10 spokesman said: “If the EBU decides the competition can’t go ahead in Ukraine we would of course welcome the opportunity to work closely with Ukraine and the BBC to host it here in the UK.”
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Paul O’Grady Dies Aged 67, Just Weeks After Newcastle Theatre Performance
TV presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady has died at the age of 67, just weeks after starring in a Newcastle theatre production.
The TV star, who was from Birkenhead on Merseyside, died “unexpectedly but peacefully” on Tuesday evening, a statement said.
His partner Andre Portasio made this statement: “It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening.”
“We ask, at this difficult time, that whilst you celebrate his life you also respect our privacy as we come to terms with this loss.
“He will be greatly missed by his loved ones, friends, family, animals and all those who enjoyed his humour, wit and compassion.
“I know that he would want me to thank you for all the love you have shown him over the years.”
The TV star, starred in a theatre prodution of Annie just weeks ago in Newcastle as it returned to Newcastle’s Theatre Royal from March 7-11.
O’Grady starred as the role of Miss Hannigan, the head of the orphanage who hates children. He had been due to perform the show across the UK up until November this year.
Raoul Moat Drama Coming Soon To ITV
It looks set to be one of ITV’s biggest dramas this year and The Hunt for Raoul Moat is being brought to screen by the same people responsible for smash hit shows Line of Duty, Bodyguard and Vigil.
It was confirmed last April that production on the series had commenced, nearly 12 years after Moat gunman shot ex girlfriend Samantha Stobbart and her new boyfriend Christopher Brown, with Brown dying from his injuries. After fleeing Samantha’s home in Birtley, Moat, who had been released from prison just days earlier, went on the run, shooting on duty policeman PC David Rathband in the face as he sat in a patrol car on the outskirts of Newcastle and leaving him blind.
From there, Moat headed for Northumberland, forcing the quiet village of Rothbury into a lockdown as police launched a frantic search for him. The hunt for Moat reached its conclusion with a tense stand-off between the killer and the police on a riverbank, with Moat eventually shooting himself and dying from his injuries as he was rushed to Newcastle General Hospital.
ITV announced three parter The Hunt for Raoul Moat almost a year ago, as filming got underway in Yorkshire, with a cast including ex Bodyguard star Matt Stokoe as Moat and Inspector George Gently actor Lee Ingeleby as police chief Neil Adamson.
ITV have yet to officially announce an release date for The Hunt for Raoul Moat, but is expected to be form part of the channel’s spring programming.
Love Island’s Casa Amor boys include Gateshead’s Kain Reed
Gateshead energy consultant Kain Reed is one of six boys going into Casa Amor as Love Island’s second villa opens its doors tonight.
Kain Reed is setting his sights firmly on Samie as the Gateshead energy consultant goes into Love Island as part of this year’s Casa Amor twist.
After lots of speculation on when Casa Amor might finally open its doors for the new series, it was revealed during Friday’s episode of the ITV dating show that it was coming this weekend, with the announcement delighting fans who think Love Island could do with a bit of spicing up, after seeing its viewing figures dropping below one million in recent days.
With cracks appearing in a few of the Love Island relationships, Casa Amor could ruffle feathers more than ever this time round and six boys and six girls will be thrown in with the objective of splitting the couples up.
And one of the lads hoping to find romance over the next week is 21-year-old Kain as the first Geordie of the current series.
Talking about going in Casa Amor, Kain said: “I’m excited because I want to see how strong the relationships actually are between the current couples, and if I can change them. I’m going in there to turn heads! “
He added: “I love a challenge in every aspect, whether it’s over a girl or a sport. I’m a competitive guy and I want to win!”
And, then moving on to talk about which girl he wanted to couple with, Kain, elaborated: “If I had my choice it would be Samie, as soon as I start talking to her I think there’s a good chance it could happen.
“I also like Lana, she’s obviously coupled up, but in Casa Amor the other boys aren’t there so we’ll have to see what happens won’t we?!”
Love Island continues tonight on ITV2 at 9pm.
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