There were initial discussions for this year’s winners, Ukraine, to host the event, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky defiantly stating his country would do so despite their ongoing war with Russia.
However, that’s now been called off given the conflict and so consequently the runners-up, the UK, will take on the mantle.
Initially, there was a large degree of disappointment expressed from Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko when plans to no longer host in Ukraine were suggested. He had issued a statement “demanding to change the decision” from the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
However, earlier today Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of the managing board of the Ukrainian broadcaster UA: PBC, said in a statement: “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.”
As such, there are plans for UA: PBC to now work with the BBC, to devise a show that will have Ukrainian elements.
The exact city which will host the event hasn’t yet been decided, but with a number of viable locations, the bids are underway – making for a far more interesting competition than a certain ongoing leadership race.
Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol have already expressed an interest, but Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Aberdeen, Cardiff, London and Brighton are all worthy contenders (the list goes on).
According to the EBU, so long as the host city can accommodate about 10,000 spectators, is within easy reach of an international airport and has enough hotel room for at least 2,000 delegates, journalists and spectators, then they’re worthy.
Much of this should be credited to Sam Ryder, a former TikTok-turned-national-star, whose performance of ‘SPACE MAN’ in Turin in May bagged us second-place. He won over the nation so much, in fact, that he also took part in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations last month.
No doubt, we can look forward to his performance at next year’s event, along with, most likely, the wry presenting of Graham Norton.