UK to host next year’s Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine

Traditionally, it would be Ukraine’s job as winner to host the upcoming song contest following Ukrainian folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra’s triumph with their track “Stefania” in May.

The UK came second in this year’s competition thanks to Sam Ryder’s performance of “Space Man.”

BBC director general, Tim Davie, said in a statement on Monday: “It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

“Being asked to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege.”

He went on to say that the BBC is “committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity.”

Davie confirmed that the next steps would be to find a host city to partner with for the annual singing competition. Organizers said the bidding process will begin next week.

Although Ukraine win not be hosting, the country will automatically qualify for the grand final along with the so-called “big five,” organizers said. The big five, which includes France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, are the countries that financially contribute the most toward the contest.

Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of the managing board of Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC, expressed confidence that the two nations could work together 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.”

The BBC has staged the Eurovision Song Contest on eight occasions — more times than any other broadcaster.

Following the announcement, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that the UK would put on a “fantastic contest on behalf of our Ukrainian friends.”

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