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Watching Eurovision on home soil is ‘once-in-a-lifetime opportunity’, fans say

Eurovision fans travelling to Liverpool ahead of the final have described watching the contest on home soil as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.

Scores of Britons are planning to descend on the host city for the main event on Saturday as the international music competition is held in the UK for the first time in 25 years.

Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and broadcast by the BBC, the contest is being held at the Liverpool Arena from 8pm.

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Eurovision fan James Skinner at Victoria Coach Station (Yui Mok/PA)

James Skinner, who described himself as a “recent convert”, was travelling to the event from London with a friend on Friday afternoon.

Speaking at Victoria Coach Station while holding a European Union flag, he said: “I loved it last year.

“I suspected we’d end up hosting and we then made every effort to get tickets to come. It felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Mr Skinner said he thinks Finland and Sweden are the countries to beat but hopes UK entry Mae Muller will finish in “the top half of the table”.

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Ellen Rodda before boarding a coach for Liverpool at Victoria Coach Station (Yui Mok/PA)

Also setting off from Victoria, Ellen Rodda said she is planning to watch Eurovision from a fan zone for the first time.

Ms Rodda said she has “no faith in the UK” entry but added: “It’s enough for me that it’s being hosted here this year.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go and see it I think.”

Ms Rodda said she would be supporting Slovenia and Ukraine because she has friends from those countries.

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Eurovision fans (L-R) Caitlin Evans, and twins Sophie and Sean Coates (Yui Mok/PA)

Sophie Coates, who was travelling to Liverpool with her twin Sean Coates and friend Caitlin Evans, described herself as a “big fan” who is supporting Spain to win.

The trio said they think Sweden will place first because the artist, Loreen, has won the competition previously.

Ms Coates added: “You shouldn’t be allowed two goes because Sweden could just enter Abba every time.”

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Sarah Cooper before boarding a coach for Liverpool at Victoria Coach Station (Yui Mok/PA)

Sarah Cooper, who was looking forward to watching from a fan zone, said she hopes Finland will win.

Speaking about the UK entry, she added: “I don’t think we’ll do badly, but I’m not sure we’ll win.”