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The EBU has announced today (July 25th 2022) that the United Kingdom will host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.

This comes after security concerns due to the 2022 Russian Invasion meant Ukraine wouldn’t be able to host the contest despite Kalush Orchestra winning with ‘Stefania’ in Turin in May.

The United Kingdom placed 2nd in Eurovision 2022, with Sam Ryder’s ‘Space Man’ taking the nation to their most successful result since 1998, and giving them their 16th second place overall. This marks the ninth time the contest will come to the UK (1960, 1963, 1968, 1977, 1972, 1974, 1982, 1998, 2023), the 7th time a country has had to pass on hosting and 5th time the BBC has hosted on behalf of another country.

In June, the EBU first issued a statement that stated due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the United Kingdom would be offered the opportunity to host the event on their behalf. After UA:PBC and former winners Jamala, Kalush Orchestra and Ruslana all urged the EBU to reconsider the decision, along with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Nadine Dorries both saying they believed that the contest should be hosted in Ukraine, the EBU released the following statement, outlining the concerns behind a Eurovision in Ukraine and the safety risks that would come with it:

Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC will work together with the British broadcaster the BBC in order to create a show that features ‘Ukrainian elements’ throughout. Ukraine will also get an automatic spot in the final of the contest, as they would if it were to be hosted in their country. The logo of the contest, which traditionally features the winning countries flag within the heart, is still yet to be decided, with the EBU saying it will ‘reflect [the] unique circumstances of staging [Eurovision]’. On the announcement that the contest will be hosted in the UK on behalf of Ukraine, UA:PBC said:

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

Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board of UA:PBC

The BBC have also released a statement, reiterating the plan to keep Ukraine’s culture displayed in Eurovision 2023:

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.

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General

The bidding process is set to formally begin this week, with Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London amongst the favourites to receive the duty of hosting the event next May. Read more about the potential host cities here.

Dates, tickets, hosts and intervals are all yet to be revealed, and the current plan for how the contest will look in 2023 is still in the early development stages. We will begin to know more in the coming months, as we are just over a month away from the official start of the ESC 2023 season (September 2022).

What do you think of Eurovision being in the UK? Which city would you like it to be in? Let us know in the comments below!

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