Eurovision fans pour into Liverpool hoping Britain’s Mae Muller can beat Swedish favourite Loreen

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Excited ticket-holders have poured into Liverpool’s fan village ahead of the Eurovision grand final tonight. 

Thousands from far and wide gathered for hours in the beating sun today at the city’s historic Pier Head venue.

There were cheers from fans draped in Union Jack flags as many hope Britain’s contestant Mae Muller can beat the Swedish favourite Loreen. 

Some ran straight to the stage front to claim a prime spot for when the grand final begins screening at 8pm.

Sean, 28, from Liverpool, came wearing a T-shirt featuring Finnish entry Kaarija, the eccentric rapper whose hyperpop hit Cha Cha Cha is among the favourites to win.

Liverpool is hosting the competition on behalf of Ukraine - and fans are showing their support for both countries

Liverpool is hosting the competition on behalf of Ukraine – and fans are showing their support for both countries

Liverpool's fan village has thrown open its gates ahead of the Eurovision final tonight

Liverpool’s fan village has thrown open its gates ahead of the Eurovision final tonight

Thousands from far and wide gathered for hours in the beating sun today at the city’s historic Pier Head venue

He said: ‘As you can see, I think you know who we are supporting today. Obviously the favourite is Finland. I do think he has got a chance.’

Speaking about UK entry Mae Muller, who is performing last, Sean added: ‘I enjoy the entry. I think there have been some issues with the vocals.

‘But I think it is a good closer. It will be a nice way to round off the show.’

Mark, 29, also from Liverpool, wore a luminescent green outfit reminiscent of Kaarija’s own bolero-style jacket.

He added of Muller’s song: ‘It is very typically pop, it is not typical Eurovision style which I quite like. I think it will do quite well.’

Speaking about Liverpool’s showcasing of Ukrainian culture, Mark added: ‘I think it is amazing. If you go around you can see Ukraine everywhere, whether it is the signs or flags, it is just Ukrainian.

‘It is even the case that they have brought a Ukrainian host in to help with Liverpool. I hope we have done Ukraine proud.’

Nicki, 30, from Darlington, came to the fan zone dressed as Serduchka with the Ukrainian flag painted on her cheeks, and told PA she usually watched the grand final as part of a viewing party but had been ‘wanting to do this for years’.

She said she was supporting Loreen from Sweden, another favourite to win, but also backed Muller.

Brits supporting the UK act Mae Muller draped in Union Jacks as they prepare to celebrate

Brits supporting the UK act Mae Muller draped in Union Jacks as they prepare to celebrate

Excited fans gathered together in the countdown to tonight's big final

Excited fans gathered together in the countdown to tonight’s big final 

Mae Muller told how she hopes to make the UK proud as she prepared for the Eurovisional final

Mae Muller told how she hopes to make the UK proud as she prepared for the Eurovisional final

Union Jack flags filled the crowds today, with many Brits routing for singer Mae Muller

Union Jack flags filled the crowds today, with many Brits routing for singer Mae Muller

There were cheers from fans dressed as Ukrainian acts Verka Serduchka and Kalush Orchestra and families in Union flag outfits

There were cheers from fans dressed as Ukrainian acts Verka Serduchka and Kalush Orchestra and families in Union flag outfits

Some ran straight to the front of the stage to claim a prime spot for the performances

Some ran straight to the front of the stage to claim a prime spot for the performances

Twenty-six acts will perform at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool to an expected global audience of 160 million viewers

Twenty-six acts will perform at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool to an expected global audience of 160 million viewers

Liverpool is full of colour today as fans celebrate ahead of the Eurovision final tonight

Liverpool is full of colour today as fans celebrate ahead of the Eurovision final tonight

However, Nicki added: ‘I think it’s hard to compete with last year’s act. We kind of hit our peak last year. It is just unfortunate we missed out on winning but obviously everyone wanted Ukraine to do well. So hopefully she will be on the left side of the board.’

She said Liverpool’s showcasing of Ukrainian culture around the city was ‘fantastic’ and showed ‘we are united’.

The grand final on Saturday night will see Muller finally take to the stage, after it emerged Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky had been barred from addressing the event.

After months of preparation, the 25-year-old singer from north London will finally perform her track, I Wrote A Song, for the international voting public.

She is hoping to continue the success of last year’s UK entry Sam Ryder, who finished second behind Kalush Orchestra.

Twenty-six acts will perform at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool to an expected global audience of 160 million viewers, according to the BBC, after the UK agreed to host the contest on behalf of war-torn Ukraine.

It comes after the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which produces the event, said it had declined Mr Zelensky’s request to speak on Saturday over fears it could politicise the contest.

He had wanted to make an unannounced video appearance and had been expected to implore the global audience of millions to continue backing his country in its fight to repel Russian invaders.

The UK is hosting on behalf of Ukraine, whose entry won last year's song contest, but could not host this year's contest due to the war

The UK is hosting on behalf of Ukraine, whose entry won last year’s song contest, but could not host this year’s contest due to the war

Fans congregate behind barriers as they queue to get into the M&S Bank Arena

Fans congregate behind barriers as they queue to get into the M&S Bank Arena

Pictured: Olena Ablaieva (pictured right),with her daughter Vasylysa (left). The pair are originally from Ukraine but but now live in Sidcup with a host family after war broke out last year. Today they are travelling from London to Liverpool to watch the contest

Pictured: Olena Ablaieva (pictured right),with her daughter Vasylysa (left). The pair are originally from Ukraine but but now live in Sidcup with a host family after war broke out last year. Today they are travelling from London to Liverpool to watch the contest

Liverpool in the lead up: The Eurovision grand final will air live on BBC One from 8pm tonight

Liverpool in the lead up: The Eurovision grand final will air live on BBC One from 8pm tonight

The EBU said Mr Zelensky had ‘laudable intentions’ but ‘regrettably’ his request was against the rules.

The move prompted criticism from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his predecessor Boris Johnson, among other figures.

The EBU has declined to comment further.

The Eurovision grand final will air live on BBC One from 8pm on Saturday.

READ MORE: Rylan and Scott Mills are saved by Merseyside Water Rescue after Eurovision pandemonium leaves them unable to get back to their hotel 

Rylan and Scott Mills were forced to be rescued by emergency services during Eurovision pandemonium in Liverpool on Friday.

The duo, who commented on the two semi finals, found themsleves trapped in crowds of fans following dinner near the M&S Arena ahead of Saturday’s live final.

Rylan, 34, took to his Instagram to share updates with followers revealing Merseyside Water Rescue helped him and Scott, 50, onto a boat, only for the vessel to fail to get out of the dock.

The former X Factor star was then forced to hop into the back of the emergency services’ car as they were escorted back to their hotel slowly through the masses of music fans.

Decked out in a high visibility jacket Rylan could be seen giving directions to the driver as Scott bemoaned: ‘This is ridiculous’.

Help! Rylan and Scott Mills were forced to be rescued by emergency services during Eurovision pandemonium in Liverpool on Friday

Help! Rylan and Scott Mills were forced to be rescued by emergency services during Eurovision pandemonium in Liverpool on Friday



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