Eurovision 2023: UK to host 2023 Eurovision Song Contest
The Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in the United Kingdom on behalf of this year’s winners Ukraine.
In a statement the EBU said it would be held on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA: PBC.
The host city bidding will begin this week according to an update from the organisers.
When reports first emerged of the UK potentially hosting the competition in June this year, Nicola Sturgeon gave a public endorsement for Glasgow hosting next year’s Eurovision, saying “We wish @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 that the Scottish Government was “happy to discuss” hosting arrangements with the BBC, Glasgow City Council and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
Sheffield City Council was among the first to announce a bid, saying on Twitter: “We’ve told Eurovision we’d love to host… watch this space.”
Manchester City Council confirmed it was also putting in a bid with its leader Bev Craig tweeting: “A world class music city, brilliant venues, experience in hosting major events, and of course one of the UK’s largest Ukrainian populations – we are confident we will make it a #eurovision to remember.”
Announcing London’s bid, mayor Sadiq Khan said the city was “ready and willing to step in” with a contest that “celebrates the people of Ukraine and shows off the very best of Britain”.
Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor said: “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.”
Tim Davie, BBC Director-General 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.’
Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board of UA:PBC added: “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.’
Ukraine, as the winning country in 2022, will automatically qualify for the Grand Final of the upcoming Contest along with the so-called ‘Big 5’ (those countries that financially contribute the most towards the Contest: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom).
The BBC has staged the Eurovision Song Contest more times than any other broadcaster on 8 occasions so far.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “The Eurovision Song Contest unites people through the power of music and creativity.
“Following a request from the European Broadcasting Union and the Ukrainian authorities, I’m delighted that the BBC has agreed to step in and host next year’s contest.
“I’m just sorry that, due to Russia’s continued acts of bloodshed, it has not been possible to host the event in Ukraine, where it should be.
“As hosts, the UK will honour the competition’s spirit and diversity, and, most importantly, ensure it reflects Ukraine’s recent Eurovision victory and Ukrainian creativity.”
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