UK may host Eurovision 2023 instead of Ukraine, says European broadcaster: NPR


Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, winners of the Eurovision Song Contest, pose with their trophy in Krakovets on Ukraine’s border with Poland on May 16. The UK, which finished second, is in talks to host next year’s event instead of Ukraine due to the war.

Mykola Tys/AP


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UK may host Eurovision 2023 instead of Ukraine, says European broadcaster: NPR

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, winners of the Eurovision Song Contest, pose with their trophy in Krakovets on Ukraine’s border with Poland on May 16. The UK, which finished second, is in talks to host next year’s event instead of Ukraine due to the war.

Mykola Tys/AP

It is customary for the country that wins Eurovision to host the international songwriting competition the following year. But the winning country usually does not defend itself in the war at the same time.

This is the case of Ukraine, whose folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra won the competition last month. Frontman Oleh Psiuk told NPR just before the final, as war in Russia continued to devastate the country, that he was confident a ‘rebuilt, whole and happy’ Ukraine would be able to host Eurovision. 2023 if she were to win.

Unfortunately, a panel of public broadcasters and security experts came to a different conclusion. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) – which runs Eurovision – announced on Friday that it was not a viable option for Ukraine to host next year’s contest.

He said he worked with Ukraine’s public broadcaster, UA:PBC, and a number of third-party specialists to conduct an assessment and feasibility study given the challenges posed by the Russian invasion. According to the EBU, the famously elaborate TV event takes 12 months to prepare and involves thousands of people.

“Following an objective analysis, the reference group, the ESC Board of Directors, has concluded with deep regret that, given the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster hosting, organizing and producing the Eurovision Song Contest under ESC regulations cannot be fulfilled by UA:PBC,” he said.

It means the UK, as a finalist, will potentially host next year’s event – which would be the first time since 1998. The EBU said it was now entering talks with the BBC, which a BBC spokesperson confirmed to The Guardian.

“Obviously this is not a set of circumstances that anyone would want,” the BBC spokesperson added. “After their decision, we will of course discuss the BBC’s hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest.”

The EBU thanked the Ukrainian broadcaster for “its cooperation and full commitment in exploring all scenarios”, sharing its disappointment that the country could not host. And he pledged to honor Ukraine as defending champions in other ways.

“We fully intend for Ukraine’s victory to be reflected in next year’s broadcasts,” he added. “That will be a priority for us in our discussions with potential hosts.”


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