UK to host Eurovision Song Contest 2023 on behalf of Ukraine

A host city has yet to be chosen

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Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will be held in the UK next year, the European Broadcasting Union and the BBC have confirmed.

The EBU said it would be held on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA: PBC.

Traditionally, each year's winning country hosts the competition the following year. Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra, a folk-rap group, won the competition in Turin, Italy, in May.

“It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest," said BBC director-general Tim Davie.

“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.”

In June, Ukraine condemned the European Broadcasting Union's decision to strip it of the right to host next year's Eurovision song contest on security grounds after Russia's invasion.

"We will demand to change this decision, because we believe that we will be able to fulfill all the commitments... We demand additional negotiations on hosting Eurovision-2023 in Ukraine," said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine's Minister of Culture.

It will be the ninth time the UK has hosted the contest — more than any other country.

The UK's Sam Ryder topped the jury vote in Turin, but Kalush Orchestra went on to win overall after a symbolic show of public support which saw them soar to first place with 631 points.

They had been the frontrunners since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, which prompted organisers to ban the Russian team from competing.

“I ask all of you, please help Ukraine, Mariupol. Help Azovstal, right now,” frontman Oleg Psiuk said moments after their win, to the live crowd of about 7,500, many of whom gave a standing ovation, and a global television audience of millions.

Ukraine joined the international contest in 2003 and its three wins make it one of the most successful of the newer competitor countries — having also triumphed in 2004 and 2016.

- PA contributed to this report

Updated: July 25, 2022, 11:55 AM