The European Broadcasting Union has confirmed that the United Kingdom and the British Broadcasting Corporation will have the right to host the 67th edition of the contest in 2023.

Sam Ryder, who finished in 2nd place for the United Kingdom in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. PHOTO FROM SAM RY-DER'S FACEBOOK PAGE
Sam Ryder, who finished in 2nd place for the United Kingdom in this year's Eurovision Song Contest. PHOTO FROM SAM RY-DER'S FACEBOOK PAGE

In an announcement on its website, the United Kingdom will be stepping in on behalf of Ukraine, who, despite winning this year's contest, could not be able to host the next contest.

"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 (National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine)," the Contest announced.

"We're exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Euro-vision Song Contest in the UK in 2023," stated the contest's executive supervi-sor Martin Österdahl.

Get the latest news
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for The Manila Times’ daily newsletters
By signing up with an email address, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Being this year's winner, Ukraine will be given an automatic place in next year's grand final. The EBU earlier said Ukraine could not host next year's show because of the ongoing war with neighboring Russia, which is why the decision was made to hold the show in the United Kingdom, which finished second this year.

"Ukraine, as the winning country in 2022, will automatically qualify for the Grand Final of the upcoming Contest along with the so-called 'Big 5'," the Contest's website wrote.

The "Big Five" are countries that financially contribute the most towards the Contest: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, which is next year's host. Since 2004, then known as the "Big Four", these countries always have an automatic spot in the grand final and when Italy returned after a 14-year absence in 2011, it later was changed to the "Big Five". Despite having dismal results between 2005 and 2008, countries from the "Big Five" have al-ways reached the top 10 of every Contest since 2009. This year, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy (which was this year's host country) were in the top 10, finishing second, third, and sixth respectively.

Standing with Ukraine

In solidarity with Ukraine, not only will the country have an automatic place in the final, but the EBU, BBC, and UA:PBC are working to incorporate Ukrain-ian elements in next year's Contest.

"The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four pre-vious 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," explained Österdahl.

UA:PBC's managing board head Mykola Chernotytskyi had thanked the BBC for showing solidarity to them.

"The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine," he said in a statement. "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."

Ukraine hosted twice, in 2005 and 2017, both in the capital, Kyiv.

Host city when

As a result of the announcement, this will mark the first time that another country will host the following year's Contest since 1980 when the Netherlands stepped in on behalf of Israel who won in 1979. In addition, this also marks the fifth time the United Kingdom hosted on behalf of countries that refused to host the following year after winning the contest (1960 for the Netherlands, 1963 for France, 1972 for Monaco, and 1974 for Luxembourg) and overall, the ninth time the country will host the contest (the most recent being in Birming-ham in 1998).

"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 re-flection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British mu-sic and creativity," a statement from BBC director-general Tim Davie wrote. "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 EBU revealed that the following cities have expressed interest to host next year's show: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edin-burgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Notting-ham, Sheffield, Swindon and Wolverhampton.

Some of the cities mentioned have hosted the show before: London hosted the contest in 1960, 1963, 1968, and 1977; while Edinburgh hosted in 1972; little town Harrogate hosted in 1982; and Birmingham was the most recent host in 1998. In 1974, it was held in Brighton, when it was there that ABBA not only gave Sweden its first of six wins in the contest, but had also launched their global music career.

In the 2020 Netflix movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, though it was supposedly set in the Scottish town of Edinburgh, the exterior of the OVO Hydro in Glasgow was used as the fictional version of the contest's venue. It is believed to be a potential venue for next year's show if Glasgow wins the right to host next year.

As of this writing, dates for next year's contest are to be announced.

Ukraine won this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy with Kalush Orchestra and their song "Stefania", which achieved hits in the charts and on YouTube, while the United Kingdom finished in second place with Sam Ryder and his song "Space Man", which he also performed in front of a crowd out-side London's Buckingham Palace at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June.