Eurovision 2023 will not be held in Ukraine; UK can intervene

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FILE – Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine pose for photographers after winning the Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final at Palaolimpico arena in Turin, Italy, Sunday, May 15, 2022. Eurovision Song Contest organizer said Friday, June 17, 2022 2022, which will start talks with the BBC about the possibility of holding next year’s event in the UK after concluding that it cannot be held in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, Archive)

SHOVEL

The organizer of the Eurovision Song Contest said on Friday that it would start talks with the BBC about the possibility of holding next year’s event in the UK after concluding it cannot be held in Ukraine.

The event is traditionally staged by the previous year’s winner. Last month, Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 contest, taking Britain to second place thanks to a wave of popular votes from viewers. The victory boosted Ukrainian spirits amid the Russian invasion.

Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC has held the event twice before, in 2005 and 2017. The European Broadcasting Union said it had carried out “a thorough assessment and feasibility study” on whether to do it again.

He said the contest is one of the most complex television productions in the world and needs 12 months of preparation time.

The contest’s board of directors “concluded with deep regret that, given the current circumstances, the safety and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest” under the event’s rules cannot be fulfilled by the Ukrainian broadcaster. , the EBU said in a statement.

He said he shared the broadcaster’s “sadness and disappointment that next year’s Contest cannot be held in Ukraine”.

“It is our full intention that Ukraine’s victory will be reflected in next year’s concerts,” the EBU said. “This will be a priority for us in our discussions with potential hosts.”

The BBC said in a statement that “clearly these are not a set of circumstances that anyone would want”, but that following the EBU’s decision “we will of course be discussing the BBC as the host of the Eurovision Song Contest”.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman Jamie Davies said “Ukraine’s victory in the Eurovision Song Contest was well deserved” and Britain hoped to see next year’s event held in the winning country.

If that proves impossible, he said, “we would appreciate the opportunity to work closely with Ukraine and the BBC to host you here in the UK.”

He said Britain would ensure the event reflected “Ukraine’s rich culture, heritage and creativity”.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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