Eurovision 2023: UK poised to host the contest on the BBC

Eurovision 2023: Graham Norton photographed against a glittery Union Jack backdrop for Eurovision 2022.
Eurovision 2023 could be coming to the UK. (Image credit: BBC/ Ray Burmiston)

Eurovision 2023 is set to be in the UK, who were runners-up this year, given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Typically the winning country would host the contest the following year, but The European Broadcasting Union has revealed they are "in talks" with the BBC about bringing the competition to the UK instead, which would be the first time the nation has hosted since 1998.

The last time the UK saw Eurovision on home turf was at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

With Sam Ryder being awarded an impressive second place in Eurovision 2022, the UK could potentially be the next host country, and a statement has been released explaining this. 

The official announcement reads: "Following their win at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May the EBU has been exploring options for the hosting of next year’s competition with Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC, who previously staged the event in 2017 and 2005.

"It has become a well-known tradition that the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest hosts the competition the following year, providing certain criteria including ensuring the viability of staging the event and the safety of all stakeholders, including the public, are met."

They added: "Given the ongoing war since the Russian invasion of this year’s winning country, the EBU has taken the time to conduct a full assessment and feasibility study with both UA:PBC and third-party specialists including on safety and security issues."

Sam Ryder photographed on the Eurovision 2022 turquoise carpet on May 8, 2022.

Sam Ryder came second place in Eurovision 2022 with his song Space Man. (Image credit: Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images)

The statement continues: "The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most complex TV productions in the world with thousands working on, and attending, the event and 12 months of preparation time needed.

"Following objective analysis, the Reference Group, the ESC’s governing board, has with deep regret concluded that, given the current circumstances, the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host, organize and produce the Eurovision Song Contest under the ESC Rules cannot be fulfilled by UA:PBC.

"The EBU would like to thank UA:PBC for their wholehearted cooperation and commitment in exploring all scenarios in the weeks since Kalush Orchestra’s win on 14 May in Turin and share their sadness and disappointment that next year’s Contest cannot be held in Ukraine."

Kalush Orchestra

Kalush Orchestra won Eurovision 2022 with their song Stefania. (Image credit: Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images)

The EBU explained as runners-up, the UK would be a suitable candidate for the competition to be held, and stressed they would reflect Ukraine's win as a priority, despite being unable to safely perform there. 

Their statement concludes: "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.

"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.

"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."

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress