The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has confirmed that the UK will host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.
The announcement comes after earlier statements which said that this year’s winner, Ukraine, wouldn’t be able to host the event.
Despite the Ukrainian entry Kalush Orchestra coming first in Turin, Italy, extensive security assessments by the EBU and Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC found that hosting the event in Ukraine wasn’t feasible.
As a result, British state broadcaster BBC has been invited to host the music contest, which sees countries from Europe (and further afield) go head to head to be crowned Eurovision winner.
Ukraine will automatically qualify for the contest alongside ‘the big five’ countries who contribute the most financially to the contest; Germany, Spain, Italy, France, and the UK.
“We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023,” says Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor.
“The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions.
“Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s Contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”
Where will Eurovision 2023 take place?
Ukraine won Eurovision 2022 after a swell of votes in the voting round from the public with the UK entry Sam Ryder coming second place with his song ‘Space Man’.
The win was a boon for Ukraine amid the Russian invasion which has seen death and destruction in the Eastern European nation.
The inability to host Eurovision 2023 will come as a blow to the country which has hosted the contest before in 2005 and 2017, however it is still set to play a big part in the event with representatives from UA:PBC coordinating with the BBC to incorporate Ukrainian elements.
“It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest,” says director general of the BBC, Tim Davie.
“The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity.”
The race will now be on to see which UK city will act as host, with a bidding war due to start this week. The result will be seen as a test of the UK government’s so-called ‘levelling-up’ agenda which aims to balance the regions of the UK with London.
Already questions have been raised about who will foot the bill. Eurovision can cost between €10 – €20 million to host and the BBC is currently undergoing stringent cuts to its budget.
The corporation has staged the event more times than any other European broadcaster hosting in London in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977, Edinburgh in 1972, Brighton in 1974, Harrogate in 1982 and Birmingham in 1998.
Source: Euro News