Graham Norton, Julia Sanina and Rylan help rail passengers around the region as they record special Eurovision messages
Eurovision Song Contest hosts Graham Norton and Julia Sanina along with commentator Rylan have turned train announcers to deliver a special Eurovision welcome to rail passengers arriving in the Liverpool City Region.
The trio, who will be part of the BBC’s coverage of the Contest airing next week, have ‘laid down tracks’ that will be played across the Merseyrail network from today.
With their instantly recognisable voices, Graham, Julia and Rylan greet passengers in English, French and Ukrainian before welcoming them to the host city.
They then urge passengers not to be a ‘diva’ and to ask for ‘a little help’ from a friendly member of staff if needed.
The announcements, which are sure to bring a smile to Eurovision travellers, end with the words ‘let the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 begin!’
Rylan was asked to record the announcements after ‘loving’ a social media post showing one of the city region’s new £500m publicly owned trains wrapped in Eurovision branding. The star replied to the request with: ‘Are you mad. YES’.
There will be separate messages for each city centre station – with instructions to alight for key Eurovision venues.
An estimated 100,000 extra visitors are expected in the Liverpool City Region as it hosts the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine. The iconic event is also expected to attract more than 160 million TV viewers.
To celebrate, Merseyrail stations have been dressed in Eurovision colours, along with the new trains, hydrogen buses, bus stations and the world-famous Mersey Ferries.
Mayor Steve Rotheram has also announced late-night public transport services will run during Eurovision to help fans and locals get home from the party safely. Trains and buses will operate until the early hours after the National Lottery’s Big Eurovision Welcome on Sunday, May 7 and after the Grand Final on Saturday, May 13.
Merseyrail services are unaffected by the industrial action on mainline rail services.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:
“A world class spectacular such as Eurovision deserves world class transport – and we’re pulling out all the stops to make sure fans and locals will arrive to the party in style.
“We’ve decorated our new state-of-the-art publicly owned trains and hydrogen buses in Eurovision branding and organised late-night bus and train services to make sure no one has to miss a second of the celebrations – and, when people arrive to our train stations, they might even be greeted by a famous voice or two!
“We’re expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors to descend on the Liverpool City Region for a week-long celebration of music, dance, fun and frivolity – and it’s fantastic to see everyone pulling together to make this a truly unforgettable experience for people from the moment they step foot in our wonderful city.”
Passengers travelling around the region during Eurovision should plan their journeys and allow extra time to travel as services are expected to be busier than usual and may be subject to change.