The UK hosts Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine

The UK will host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023 on behalf of Ukraine.

European Broadcasting Union (EBU) organizers earlier decided that the event could not be held in the war-torn country following the Russian invasion.

This was despite Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra winning this year’s competition in Turin, Italy, with Britain’s Sam Ryder coming in second.

Ukraine will automatically qualify for the Grand Final along with the so-called Big Five – the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, each of which receives a free pass due to their financial contributions to the event.

This will be the ninth time that Eurovision has been held in the UK, more than any other country.

The bidding process for selecting the host city will begin this week and will be jointly managed by the BBC and EBU.

Martin Osterdahl, Executive Supervisor of Eurovision, said: “We are very grateful that the BBC agreed to organize the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023.

The BBC has done hosting duties for the other winning nations on four previous occasions.

“Continuing this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s competition will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters while ensuring that this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”

Mykola Chernotsky, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ukrainian Broadcasting Corporation UA:PBC said: “The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine.

“We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing their solidarity with us.

“I am confident that together we will be able to add the Ukrainian spirit to this event and unite the whole of Europe once again around our shared values ​​of peace, support and celebration of diversity and talent.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK was “going to run a fantastic competition on behalf of our Ukrainian friends”.

He said that in talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last week “they agreed that wherever Eurovision 2023 is held, Ukraine and its people should be celebrated.”

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