The BBC will host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the UK on behalf of 2022’s winner, Ukraine, due to the country’s ongoing war with Russia.
After extensive consultation with the Ukrainian broadcaster, UA: PBC, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) decided that it wouldn’t be possible for next year’s event to take place in Ukraine.
As the UK came second in 2022 with Sam Ryder and his track Space Man, the EBU invited the BBC to host the 67th edition of the competition.
The BBC has accepted the invitation and has promised to deliver a unique Eurovision that, as well as showcasing the UK music scene, pays homage to Ukraine and their victory in Turin in May 2022. Ukraine will still automatically qualify.
BBC Studios will produce the two Semi-Finals and Grand Final, having already been commissioned to produce the 2023 coverage before this announcement.
The BBC has also announced that the bidding process to select the Host City for the Song Contest will begin this week, which the BBC will oversee alongside the EBU.
It will be the first time since Birmingham in 1998 that the UK has hosted the Contest, although the BBC has staged it more times than any other broadcaster, including: London in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977, Edinburgh in 1972, Brighton in 1974 and Harrogate in 1982.
Kate Phillips, Director of Unscripted at the BBC, said: “We are honoured that we have been asked to take on hosting duties for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine.
“Clearly the set of circumstances our colleagues find themselves in is not what we wanted but we will work with UA: PBC and the other participating broadcasters to deliver a special event that has glorious Ukraine at its heart.”