Eurovision can now be held in the UK after organizers concluded it cannot take place in Ukraine

Eurovision organizer the European Broadcasting Union said it will start negotiations with the BBC to host the 2023 event, after concluding that next year’s contest cannot be held in Ukraine.

Ukraine was crowned the winner of the 2022 Song Contest last month with the Kalush Orchestra track Stefania and, as a winning nation, was in line to host the competition next year.

Amid the ongoing Russian invasion of the country, the EBU carried out a “full assessment and feasibility study” with Ukrainian state broadcaster UA:PBC on whether it could go ahead.

However, it concluded that after “exploring all the scenarios” with the network, they shared “their sadness and disappointment that next year’s Contest cannot be held in Ukraine”.

In a statement, the EBU thanked UA:PBC for “their wholehearted cooperation and commitment”, and said it would now begin discussions with the BBC about holding the event in the UK, after Sam Ryder finished in second place. in the contest in May, with his song Homem do Espaço.

“The EBU has supported UA:PBC in a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so that UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide to Ukrainians,” he said.

“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 Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in the United States. Kingdom.

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

After seeing the ad, the BBC said: “Clearly these are not a set of circumstances that anyone would want. Following [the EBU’s] decision, of course we will discuss the BBC hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.”

Sam Ryder of the United Kingdom led the jury vote in Turin last month, but the Kalush Orchestra of Ukraine won overall after a symbolic show of public support that took them to first place with 631 points.

In 1960 and 1974, the competition was held in the runner-up country rather than the winner – and in both cases this meant that the UK was the host of the contest.

The UK last hosted Eurovision in 1998, after winning the contest with Katrina and the Waves’ Love Shine A Light.

Britain's Sam Ryder finished second at this year's Eurovision
Britain’s Sam Ryder finished second at this year’s Eurovision

MARCO BERTORELLO via Getty Images

Downing Street said it would “welcome” next year’s Eurovision event in the UK.

Boris Johnson’s spokesman said Ukraine’s victory was “much deserved” and that the government’s “overwhelming wish” was that the contest could be held there.

“We would love the opportunity to work with Ukraine and the BBC to host you here in the UK,” the spokesperson said.

No.10 added that if the contest were to be held in Britain, he would want it to reflect Ukraine’s “rich culture, heritage and creativity”.

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