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United Kingdom confirmed to host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine

Cities around the country will now compete to host the contest, which the BBC says will have ‘glorious Ukraine at its heart’

By Will Richards

Eurovision 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra. (Picture: EBU - Corinne Cumming)

The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in the United Kingdom on behalf of Ukraine, it has been confirmed.

Ukrainian rap group Kalush Orchestra emerged victorious at this year’s Eurovision with the track ‘Stefania’, though are unable to host next year’s contest after the country was invaded by Russia.

Last month, it was reported that the UK was “in talks” to potentially host year’s next Eurovision Song Contest, and the plan has now been confirmed.

The confirmation came after Ukraine’s national broadcaster dropped their concerns about not being allowed to host the contest while at war, and the network will work together with the BBC on next year’s show.

In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said of the news: “The show will celebrate the culture and heritage of Ukraine as the winners of the 2022 contest, alongside the Eurovision’s proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music.”

After 10 Downing Street said that it had reached the “deeply regrettable” conclusion that finding a “safe city” within Ukraine to host Eurovision 2023 would “not be possible”, the plan to move it to the UK — who finished in second place behind Ukraine at 2022’s contest — went ahead, with Boris Johnson promising that the UK would “pull out all the stops” on a ceremony that “celebrates and honours” Ukraine.

No 10 said on Monday it had appealed to the European Broadcasting Union for a “safe city” in Ukraine to host next year’s contest but it was “deeply regrettable” it had become clear that “will not be possible”.

Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said the BBC and UK would “pull out all the stops” to make sure the event “celebrates and honours” Ukraine and encouraged viewers to stock up on Ukrainian flags.

Re-visit Rolling Stone UK’s interview with Eurovision 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra, about how they became the runaway favourites for the contest, here.