AceShowbiz - The Eurovision Song Contest will "potentially" be staged in the U.K. in 2023 after organisers ruled against holding it in Ukraine. While traditionally the winning nation is host to the competition the following year, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have announced "with deep regret" they have taken the decision to look for an alternative for 2023 because of the ongoing invasion of the country from Russia.
"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," the EBU explained in a statement.
The organization went on to say, "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."
"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," it continued. "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.
The organizers added, "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."
Organizers are now planning to liaise with the BBC about the possibility of staging the competition in the UK instead, since Sam Ryder came second to Kalush Orchestra at last month's contest. "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," the statement further noted.
"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 concluded.