The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in the U.K.
Although Ukraine won this year’s contest, due to the ongoing conflict following Russia’s invasion the show’s organizers have now confirmed what had long been mooted: that the competition will be hosted by the runners-up, the U.K.
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The European Broadcasting Union and the BBC made the announcement on Monday, stating that the U.K. would step in “on behalf” of 2023’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA:PBC, with the BBC taking on hosting duties. As winners, however, the Ukraine would automatically qualify for the Grand Final along with the ‘Big 5’ of nations that contribute financially, which includes the U.K. The EBU added that UA:PBC will work with the BBC to develop Ukrainian elements of the show.
A bidding contest to select the host city is set to begin this week, but both Glasgow and Manchester have reportedly already expressed an interest.
“We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023,” said Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s executive supervisor.
“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 whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”
Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of the managing board of UA:PBC added: “The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine. We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us. I am confident that together we will be able to add Ukrainian spirit to this event and once again unite the whole of Europe around our common values of peace, support, celebrating diversity and talent.”
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.