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UK “in talks” to host Eurovision 2023 after Ukraine forced to pull out

Talks with the BBC are now underway

By Nick Reilly

Sam Ryder performs at Eurovision 2022
Sam Ryder performs at Eurovision 2022 (Picture: Alamy)

The United Kingdom is in talks to potentially host year’s next Eurovision Song Contest, after Ukraine was forced to give up the chance to host the event in the war-torn country.

Ukrainian rap group Kalush Orchestra emerged victorious in May with the track ‘Stefania’, after viewers across the continent came together to show support after the country was invaded by Russia.

While the winner traditionally hosts the following year’s contest, organisers now say that it is with “deep regret” they have concluded that Ukraine will not be able to fulfil the security and operational requirements for next year’s event.

Now, the BBC has been asked to host next year’s competition, after the UK finished in second place with Sam Ryder’s ‘Space Man’.

Organisers The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), said: “The Eurovision song contest is one of the most complex TV productions in the world, with thousands working on, and attending, the event and 12 months of preparation time needed.”

After lengthy discussions, they added, it was with “sadness and disappointment” that they concluded next year’s contest could not possibly be held in Ukraine.

“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.”

If the BBC agrees to host the contest then a large arena in a UK city will be likely to host – with Glasgow’s The Hydro and Manchester Arena considered to be among the frontrunners.