Those tuning into tonight’s Eurovision semi-final were treated to a surprise performance by co-host Alesha Dixon.
The presenter harked back to her time in girl group Mis-Teeq with a rap in front of the live audience that paid tribute to the people of Ukraine and the trademark pink bucket hat of Kalush Orchestra frontman Oleh Psiuk.
Wearing a bright pink and red dress in the shape of a bow, Alesha then led the crowd in a chant of “Liverpool, Liverpool!”
Alesha, who is a judge on Britain’s Got Talent is hosting the Eurovision semi-final alongside Ted Lasso actress Hannah Waddingham and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina of the band The Hardkiss. The two semi-finals are taking place this week at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.
Fans from across the UK, Europe and further afield are at the arena while thousands more are watching screens at the Eurovision Village at the city’s historic Pier Head.
Waddingham joked they were “honorary Liver Birds for the evening”, while Sanina welcomed viewers with a message in her native Ukrainian. She later thanked “beautiful Liverpool” for welcoming Ukraine and its people “with open arms.”
Spice Girl Melanie C also made a surprise appearance as the announcer, introducing the show and the hosts.
Norway’s Alessandra kicked off the first live show with her anthem of female self-empowerment, Queen Of Kings.
A short film welcomed viewers to the event and featured local famous faces including Wirral-born TV baker Paul Hollywood, actor Ricky Tomlinson and the late Paul O’Grady. There was also a surprise pre-recorded appearance from the King and Queen, who unveiled the staging last month.
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