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The Ukrainian entry of Kalush Orchestra won the competition in Turin, Italy this year and it is traditional that the winning country hosts the event the following year.
However, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said that following a “full assessment and feasibility study” it had concluded the “security and operational guarantees” required to host the event cannot be fulfilled by Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC.
— Eurovision Song Contest (@Eurovision) June 17, 2022
If the UK does host the contest in 2023, it would be the ninth time it has taken place here – more than any other country.
In a statement posted online, the EBU thanked the UA:PBC for its “wholehearted cooperation and commitment in exploring all scenarios” but shared its “sadness and disappointment” that the contest cannot be held in the war-torn country.
“The EBU has been supporting UA:PBC across a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide to Ukrainians,” it said.
“As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner-up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) June 17, 2022
“It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.”
The BBC said in a statement: “We have seen the announcement from the EBU. Clearly these aren’t a set of circumstances that anyone would want.
“Following their decision, we will of course discuss the BBC hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.”
The UK’s Sam Ryder topped the jury vote in Turin but Kalush Orchestra went on to win overall after a symbolic show of public support which saw them soar to first place with 631 points.
They had been the frontrunners since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February – which prompted organisers to ban the Russian entrant from competing.
Ukraine joined the international contest in 2003 and its three wins make it one of the most successful of the newer competitor countries – having also triumphed in 2004 and 2016.
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