Eurovision: UK could host 2023 event, organisers sayon June 17, 2022 at 11:43 am

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Officials are in talks with BBC after concluding contest cannot be held in winning country Ukraine.

Sam Ryder arrives at Heathrow Airport in London after finishing second in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest in ItalyImage source, PA Media

The BBC is in talks with the European Broadcasting Union “to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest” in the UK.

The show’s organisers have concluded, after a “full assessment and feasibility study”, that next year’s event cannot be held in the winning country, Ukraine.

This is because of the ongoing war in Ukraine, following Russia’s invasion.

Sam Ryder came second for the UK, the country’s best result since 1998.

Ryder topped the jury vote in Turin in May, but rap-folk band Kalush Orchestra, who were given special permission to leave the war-torn country to compete, soared to first place with 631 points in a symbolic show of public support.

Traditionally, the winning country is asked to host the following year’s contest.

‘Ukraine win will be reflected’

The EBU said in a statement it had conducted the study with Ukrainian state broadcaster UA:PBC and external specialists, amid the conflict, but that the “security and operational guarantees” required to host the event cannot be fulfilled in the war-torn country.

The organisation thanked the winning nation’s broadcaster for its “wholehearted cooperation and commitment in exploring all scenarios” and said it shared in “their sadness and disappointment”, adding it would continue to support them.

“As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner-up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom,” the statement read.

“It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.”

A BBC spokesman added: “We have seen the announcement from the EBU. Clearly these aren’t a set of circumstances that anyone would want. Following their decision, we will of course discuss the BBC hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.”

This video can not be played

To play this video you need to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Downing Street welcomed the possibility of the UK hosting Eurovision if Ukraine cannot, pledging to ensure it would “overwhelmingly reflects Ukraine’s rich culture, heritage and creativity”.

“Ukraine’s victory… was richly deserved and as the rightful winner the government’s firm wish has been to see next year’s contest hosted there,” said a government spokesperson.

“If the EBU decides the competition can’t go ahead in Ukraine, we would of course welcome the opportunity to work closely with Ukraine and the BBC to host it here in the UK.”

They added the government was also committed to “building on the ongoing partnership between our two countries”.

Asked if the government would help the BBC with the costs, the spokesman said “we’re slightly getting ahead of ourselves in terms of the process”.

Ukraine winners’ plea

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon added they also wished Eurovision could be in Ukraine, but “understand that in circumstances this isn’t possible”.

“However, I can think of a perfect venue on banks of the River Clyde!” she added, saying they were happy to discuss this with the organisers and broadcasters involved.

Katrina Leskanich, lead singer for the UK’s winning 1997 Eurovision entry Katrina and the Waves with their song Love Shine A Light, tweeted: “Practically hysterical over the announcement that the UK could host!”

Kalush Orchestra ended their performance in Turin last month with a plea: “Please help Ukraine, help Mariupol, help Azovstal right now.”

They went on to sell their trophy for $900,000 (£712,000; €838,000) to raise money for the war effort.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Eurovision organisers to ban them from competing.

- Advertisement -




Roe v Wade: US Supreme Court strikes down abortion rightson June 24, 2022 at 2:41 pm

Millions of women lose the legal right to abortion after the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade.Image source, EPAMillions of women in the US...

Sir Keir Starmer: Savings scheme would boost UK’s recovery post-Covidon February 18, 2021 at 12:29 pm

The Labour leader also proposes an extra £1bn to fund small businesses to help revive Britain post-Covid.The Labour leader also proposes an extra £1bn...

‘We have VAR in place so why not check?’ – Arsenal criticise ‘inconsistency’ in Man City defeaton January 1, 2022 at 4:59 pm

Arsenal assistant boss Albert Stuivenberg and goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale question the use of VAR in the 2-1 defeat by Manchester City.

Ukraine tension: President Zelensky hits back at Biden commentson January 20, 2022 at 5:09 pm

Its president bristles at suggestions a "minor" Russian attack may bring a weaker Western response.This video can not be playedTo play this video you...

Hepatitis cases detected in children in Europe and the USon April 20, 2022 at 4:09 am

Acute hepatitis - or liver inflammation - among children was first reported in the UK last week.Image source, Getty ImagesHealth officials say they are...