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UK to host Eurovision 2023 as hunt for host city begins

A bidding contest for the host city is set to launch this week.

Kalush Orchestra at Eurovision 2022
Marco Bertorello / AFP / Getty Images
Published: Monday, 25th July 2022 at 12:22 pm
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The UK will officially host Eurovision 2023, as BBC Director-General Tim Davie has confirmed that the broadcaster is currently seeking a host city.

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The BBC had previously confirmed talks were in progress with Eurovision about the UK hosting in 2023, due to Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine meaning the winners would be unable to host. A bidding contest for the host city will now begin, launching this week and with a longlist being published later in the summer.

In his statement, Davie said: "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.

"The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity."

He continued: "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."

Sam Ryder performing Space Man at Eurovision 2022
Sam Ryder performing Space Man at Eurovision 2022 Marco Bertorello/ AFP / Getty Images

The BBC was asked to host after the UK's entry, Sam Ryder, was runner-up in this year's contest. While it's not yet known which cities will enter the bidding contest, it's been reported that mayors, councillors and MPs from cities including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham and more have already informally expressed interest in hosting.

It has also been revealed that representatives from UA: PBC, Ukraine's public broadcaster, will work with the BBC to develop and implement Ukrainian elements into the show.

The Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor, Martin Österdahl, said in a statement: "We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023.

"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."

A logo reflecting the "unique circumstances" of next year's contest is set to be released later.

The 2022 Eurovision Song Contest aired on the BBC from Tuesday 10th May to Saturday 14th May – listen to all of this year's Eurovision songs on TIDAL, while the full album of tracks is available on CD and vinyl now.

You can also check out the full list of Eurovision winners and how many times the UK has won Eurovision here. If you're looking for something to watch tonight, check out our TV Guide.

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