Queer Brits are celebrating confirmation that the UK will host the next Eurovision Song Contest in 2023, on behalf of war-torn Ukraine.
In Turin, Italy in May, Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the contest with song Stefania (below). The UK finished second.
But the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) ruled Ukraine out from hosting “with deep regret” due to “safety and security issues” amid the Russian conflict.
Eurovision bosses asked the UK to take over as host country instead and the country has now officially accepted. The BBC will produce the contest.
Eurovision bosses say the broadcaster will incorporate Ukrainian elements into the show.
And because of the country’s 2022 win, Ukraine will automatically qualify for the grand final alongside the “Big Five” – the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
Eurovision executive supervisor Martin Österdahl said, “We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023.
“The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions.
“Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters.”
The BBC has pledged that the UK contest will have “glorious Ukraine at its heart”.
“The show will celebrate the culture and heritage of Ukraine as the winners of the 2022 contest, alongside Eurovision’s proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music,” a BBC spokesperson said.
UK cities to start bidding to host Eurovision Song Contest 2023
A bidding contest for the host city will begin this week. Mayors, councillors and MPs from over a dozen UK cities have announced plans to bid.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said his city will bid and hosting the contest would be an honour.
“It’s very disappointing for Ukraine that they will be unable to host Eurovision next year,” Khan said.
“London is ready and willing to step in. We’d be honoured to put on a contest that celebrates the people of Ukraine and shows off the very best of Britain.”
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