UK to host 2023 Eurovision Song Contest
July 25, 2022
By Colin Mann
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC have confirmed that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in the United Kingdom on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA:PBC.
Following the decision that, regrettably, next year’s event could not be held in Ukraine for safety and security reasons the EBU explored a number of options with the winning broadcaster.
As a result of discussions, the BBC, as runner up in the 2022 Contest, was invited by the EBU to act as Host Broadcaster for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.
“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.”
“The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine,” added Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board of UA:PBC. “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.”
Representatives from UA: PBC will work with the BBC to develop and implement the Ukrainian elements of next year’s shows. Ukraine, as the winning country of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, will also automatically qualify to the Grand Final of the upcoming Contest.
“It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest,” commented Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC said. “Being asked to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege. The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity. The BBC will now begin the process to find a Host City to partner with us on delivering one of the most exciting events to come to the UK in 2023.”
The BBC has staged the Eurovision Song Contest more times than any other broadcaster, hosting in London in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977, Edinburgh in 1972, Brighton in 1974, Harrogate in 1982 and Birmingham in 1998.
Next year’s Host City will be chosen in the coming months following a bidding process to be launched in the coming days. The dates for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be announced in due course.
The logo for the 2023 event will also be revealed later and will reflect the unique staging of next year’s Contest and the cooperation between the host country and this year’s winners.
The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest live music event, organised annually since 1956 by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which represents public service media in 56 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The 2022 competition reached over 180 million viewers on TV and digital platforms.
The two Semi-Finals and Grand Final will be produced by BBC Studios, who were previously commissioned to produce Eurovision 2023 coverage before there were any discussions about the Song Contest coming to the UK. The BBC will also be seeking additional programming and content from producers across the market, with further details to follow.
“We are honoured that we have been asked to take on hosting duties for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine, stated Kate Phillips, Director Unscripted BBC. “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.”