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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 11:31 GMT
Liverpool lands 2008 MTV Awards
Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg is hosting this year's ceremony in Munich
Liverpool's new Echo Arena will host next year's MTV Europe Music Awards ceremony, organisers have announced.

It will be the third time the annual event has been held in the UK, following shows in London in 1996 and Edinburgh in 2003.

"Not only is it the European Capital of Culture next year but the influence of its rich musical heritage is still felt today," producer Richard Godfrey said.

Munich's Olympiahalle hosts this year's show, which takes place on Thursday.

Mr Godfrey, the event's executive producer and MTV Networks senior vice-president, added that "it was only natural" that Liverpool should host the awards, scheduled for 6 November 2008.

The Liverpool Culture Company, which is co-ordinating next year's European City of Culture celebrations, led the bid to bring the 15th awards ceremony to the city.

As well as being the birthplace of the Beatles, the city has also produced Gerry and the Pacemakers, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, the Christians, Echo and the Bunnymen, Cast, The Boo Radleys and Atomic Kitten, while current stars include Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm, the Zutons and Candie Payne.

'Pop music coming home'

Chairman Bryan Gray said: "It's pop music coming home. There was huge competition to stage these awards, so this is a major coup for Liverpool.

"This event and the plans we have to celebrate them will provide a huge international platform for the city, the arena and the music scene in Liverpool today."

The Echo Arena, on the banks of the Mersey at King's Dock, is due to open in January as part of a 146m development.

It is billed as being one of the most environmentally-friendly venues of its kind in Europe.

Culture Secretary James Purnell said: "Liverpool is a creative force in the world music industry. This will make the European Capital of Culture year even more special."

Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley said it was a "watershed in Liverpool's return to the world stage".

"With being European Capital of Culture, the city has rediscovered the confidence and ability to attract the world's best," he added.

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