EBU announce Ukraine won't host Eurovision 2023, UK in the box seat
Today the European Broadcasting Union released a statement on social media about the hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
"Following their win at the Eurovision Song Contest in May, the EBU has been exploring options for the hosting of next year's competition with Ukraine's public broadcaster UA:PBC, who previously staged the event in 2017 and 2005. It has become a well-known tradition that the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest hosts the competition the following year, providing certain criteria including ensuring the viability of staging the event and the safety of all stakeholders including the public, are met.
Given the ongoing war since the Russian invasion of this year's winning country, the EBU has taken the time to conduct a full assessment and feasibility study with both UA:PBC and third-party specialists including on safety and security issues. The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most complex TV productions in the world with thousands working on, and attending, the event and 12 months of preparation time needed.
Following objective analysis, the Reference Group, the ESC's governing board, has with deep regret concluded that, given the 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 by UA:PBC.
The EBU would like to thank UA:PBC for their wholehearted cooperation and commitment in exploring all scenarios in the weeks since Kalush Orchestra's win on 14 May in Turin and share their sadness and disappointment that next year's Contest cannot be held in Ukraine.
The EBU has been supporting UA:PBC across a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide Ukrainians.
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 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.
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 discussion with the eventual hosts."
This is not the first time a Eurovision winning country has not hosted the following year, with the United Kingdom stepping in numerous times.
In 1980 The Hague hosted when Israel won in 1979
In 1974 Brighton hosted after Luxembourg won in 1973
In 1972 Edinburgh hosted after Monaco won in 1971
In 1963 London hosted after France won in 1962
In 1960 London hosted after The Netherlands won in 1959
In 1957 Frankfurt hosted after Switzerland won in 1956
More details on whether the UK will be confirmed as hosts and which city plus dates will come out in due course.