Last month Ukraine won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Turin, with Essex-born Sam Ryder as runner-up. The competition winner traditionally hosts the next contest. However, in light of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, the organisers are seeking alternative arrangements.
Today, the European Broadcast Union (EBU) who produce the world famous contest has issued a statement regarding the hosting arrangements for 2023.
“Following their win at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May the EBU has been exploring options for the hosting of next year’s competition with Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC, who previously staged the event in 2017 and 2005.”
The statement continued to set out the issues that the ongoing conflict would cause. It added “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.
“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.”
The BBC 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.”
Number 10 added its own take on the situation. “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.
“Ukraine’s victory in the Eurovision song contest was richly deserved, and as the rightful winner the Government’s firm wish has been to see next year’s contest hosted there.
“But we would be committed to ensuring it overwhelmingly reflects Ukraine’s rich culture, heritage and creativity, as well as building on the ongoing partnership between our two countries.”
The 2022 competition saw Sam Ryder, from Maldon in Essex, win the most votes from the industry judges, but ultimately lose out in the public voting.