Glasgow or Liverpool have been announced as the final two UK cities in the running to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
The two remaining cities had “the strongest overall offer”, with a final decision to be made “within weeks”, the broadcaster said.
The BBC appeared to drop a strong hint earlier in the day, with BBC Breakfast presenter Sally Nugent telling viewers: “This morning – listen very carefully to what I’m saying – ahead of an expected update from our BBC entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson we’re going to be looking at the situation in Manchester.”
After taking a look at how Manchester is hoping to secure the contest, Nugent, 51, said: “As we said earlier, later on today we are expecting an update from the BBC.”
She added: “As soon as we know, you will know.”
Ukraine won this year’s competition, with Kalush Orchestra taking the top spot.
However, the Eurovision Broadcasting Union (EBU) ruled the event could not be held in the country next year as the risk of Russian air raids and mass casualties was too high.
The UK took second place in Eurovision 2022, with Sam Ryder’s Space Man.
Last month, Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester were all shortlisted to host the international contest in 2023 on behalf of Ukraine.
Cities were initially judged on criteria including having a venue that can host at least 10,000 people, and access to an international airport.
Eurovision is the world’s biggest live music event – the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest reached a global audience of more than 180 million across TV and digital platforms.
The BBC will air the 2023 competition on behalf of Ukraine’s national broadcaster, UA:PBC.
As winners, Ukraine will get automatic entry into the final next year, alongside what are known as “the big five” nations (the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Germany), which contribute the most financially to the event.
Ukraine is expected to have a big part in putting the show together.
The 67th Eurovision Song Contest will be held in May 2023.