The Angel of the North has been chosen, with Stonehenge, as one of two images to represent British heritage at the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool in May. Ukrainian landmarks will also feature in digital postcards used to introduce the Eurovision acts.
Liverpool is hosting the competition after the UK’s Sam Ryder came second to Ukraine in last year’s contest. Ukraine cannot host the event this year because of the ongoing war.
But the BBC, which will broadcast Eurovision, reports that the country will still feature prominently through short, filmed clips, each of which will feature an equivalent UK landmark and one from participating countries.
Across a total of 37 digital postcards, 111 locations will be featured. Ukrainian landscapes were filmed using drone technology. The film clips will be set to music by Dmytro Shurov, a Ukrainian musician and composer based in Kyiv.
The Angel of the North, Stonehenge and the other locations will be viewed by up to 160mn viewers who are expected to tune in for the contest. Artist Antony Gormley’s famous Angel of the North has been towering over the southern approach to Gateshead since 1998; Stonehenge in Wiltshire is up to 5,000 years older.
Ukraine at the heart
According to the BBC, TV production company Windfall Films worked in collaboration with Ukrainian film company 23/32 Films to organise shoots and secure aerial filming permits for the war-torn country. Sarah Cherniavskyi, executive producer for 23/32 Films, told the BBC:
“We are pleased to participate in this project and to show that shooting of every difficulty level is still possible in Ukraine. This year’s Eurovision, despite not happening in Ukraine due to Russian aggression, will have our country in its heart.”
Rachel Ashdown, BBC lead commissioner for Eurovision, said:
“The creative concept for the postcards is much anticipated by fans every year. They are the perfect way to introduce each act to the combined 160mn people watching across the globe. As well as the UK, Ukraine and participating countries being ‘united by music’, viewers will be surprised to see what else unites us too.”
Ukraine will be represented by electronic music duo Tvorchi with their song “Heart of Steel”, while Londoner Mae Muller will fly the flag for the UK with I Wrote A Song. Eurovision will hold semi-finals on 9 and 11 May with the grand final to be held on 13 May. All events will be broadcast by the BBC.
Iain Burns of Gateshead Council said: “We’re delighted that the Angel of the North has been selected as a representative image of UK heritage at the Eurovision song contest in Liverpool. The Angel of the North is an iconic landmark for the North East and we are proud the sculpture will be representing our fantastic region to the millions of people watching the contest across the globe.”