The United Kingdom will likely host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) because of the ongoing war in Ukraine, it has been announced.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) issued a statement this morning saying it will “begin discussions with the BBC” about broadcasting the event from the UK, as this year’s runner up to the winners, Ukraine.
Following a review from the ESC’s governing board, the Reference Group, it is with “deep regret” the competition will not be held in Kyiv.
This comes after Ukraine pipped the UK to the title with its Kalush Orchestra last month in Turin, despite Britain’s Sam Ryder leading the way for much of the voting.
In spite of Ukrainian promises to host the contest, the ongoing Russian onslaught against the country means under “current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest under the ESC Rules cannot be fulfilled”.
The statement confirmed that “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 stressed however that “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.”
A BBC Spokesperson said: “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.”