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The UK is confirmed to be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2023

Ukraine was ruled out by organisers in June due to the ongoing invasion by Russia.

By Alastair James

Words: Alastair James; pictures:

It’s been confirmed that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in the UK after Ukraine was ruled out by organisers.

The UK came second in this year’s contest with Sam Ryder’s out-of-this-world tune ‘Space Man’ to Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra and their song ‘Stefania’.

Despite enthusiasm from the country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky as well as the Ukrainian broadcaster, UA: PBC, Eurovision organisers decided in June that due to the ongoing invasion by Russia, the 2023 couldn’t be held in Ukraine. 

In a statement the European Broadcasting Union said it had confirmed with the BBC that the UK would host the 2023 competition “on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA:PBC.”

Ukraine, as is tradition for the winning country, will automatically quaskify for next year’s grand final, alongside the ‘Big 5’, which includes the UK. 

While it’s disappointing that Ukraine is unable to host, the statement notes that the 2023 contest will feature “Ukrainian elements” with members of UA: PBC working with the BBC on these. 

The logo for the 2023 event will reflect the cicrumstances and the cooperation between the UK and Ukraine.

Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor says, “We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023.

“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.”

Mykola Chernotytskyi, the Head of the Managing Board of UA:PBC adds: “The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine. We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us.

“I am confident that together we will be able to add Ukrainian spirit to this event and once again unite the whole of Europe around our common values of peace, support, celebrating diversity and talent.”

In the meantime a bidding war is due to take place with any number of UK cities capable of hosting the massive event. According to the Eurovision statement, several cities and authorities have informally expressed an interest in hosting. A host city is due to be announced in the coming months. 

With cities like Liverpool, Edinburgh, Cardiff and London among those in the mix it’s worth noting that recent criteria for a host venue has been based on at least 10,000 spectators (as well as a press centre), and within easy reach of an international airport and with ample hotel accommodation.

The Director General of the BBC, Tim Davie says, “It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Being asked to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege.

“The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity. The BBC will now begin the process to find a host city to partner with us on delivering one of the most exciting events to come to the UK in 2023.”

The 2023 contest will be the ninth time the UK has hosted the event. 

The Attitude July/August issue is out now.