The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have confirmed that the BBC will be hosting the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the UK on behalf of this year’s winners, Ukraine.
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Organisers revealed last month that they were in talks with the BBC to bring the event to the UK. The winning country of the annual song competition usually hosts the following year’s event and despite Ukraine’s folk-rap entry Kalush Orchestra topping the table, it was announced earlier this month that the EBU would be looking for a different country to host the event in 2023.
In a lengthy statement, EBU explained the reasons why Ukraine couldn’t host the 2023 event. “The EBU fully understands the disappointment that greeted the announcement that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest cannot be staged in Ukraine, this year’s winning country,” the statement began.
“The decision was guided by the EBU’s responsibility to ensure the conditions are met to guarantee the safety and security of everyone working and participating in the event, the planning of which needs to begin immediately in the host country.”
The UK’s Sam Ryder came second in the competition and as a result of discussions, the BBC have now been invited by the EBU to act as Host Broadcaster for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.
The United Kingdom will host #Eurovision 2023! 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) July 25, 2022
“We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023,” Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor, said in a statement.
“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.”
Ukraine, as the winning country of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, will automatically qualify to the 2023 Grand Final.
Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC added: “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 BBC previously hosted Eurovision in London in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977, Edinburgh in 1972, Brighton in 1974, Harrogate in 1982 and Birmingham in 1998. The host city will be chosen in the coming months following a bidding process.