Eurovision 2023 will be held in the UK on behalf of Ukraine

Next year the Eurovision Song Contest will take place in the UK, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC have confirmed.

Entry from Ukraine – Kalush Orchestra – won the competition this year with their song Stephania, and would normally host the event the following year, but the Russian invasion of their country presented too many safety and security risks.

The UK was this year’s runner-up and as such has been invited to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest. It remains to be decided in which city the event will take place.

A statement from BBC Director General Tim Davie posted on Twitter read: “It is a great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are unable to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. To be invited to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege.

“The BBC is committed to making this event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture while showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity.

“The BBC will now begin the process to find a host city to partner with us to deliver one of the most exciting events to come to the UK in 2023.”

The BBC is the UK’s national broadcaster for the event.

Following Ukraine’s victory, the EBU announced that following a “comprehensive assessment and feasibility study” it had concluded that the “security and operational guarantees” required to host the event could not be fulfilled by the Ukrainian public broadcaster UA:PBC.

Eurovision organizers added that the risk of Russian air raids and mass casualties was too high for Ukraine to host the competition in 2023.

Martin Osterdahl, Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, said: “We are extremely grateful that the BBC has agreed to bring the Eurovision Song Contest to the UK in 2023.

“The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four occasions. Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s competition will showcase the creativity and skills of one of the Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters while ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”

Ukraine will automatically qualify for the Grand Final alongside the so-called Big Five – the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – who will each get a free pass due to their financial contributions.

Following the announcement, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries tweeted a bespoke Eurovision logo showing the Ukrainian flag and the British flag side-by-side in a heart, with the message: “It’s Ukrainian Eurovision and it’s It is an absolute privilege and honor for the UK to support our friends.”

In a one-minute video she also shared online, she said: “The Eurovision Song Contest unites people through the power of music and creativity.

“Following a request from the European Broadcasting Union and the Ukrainian authorities, I am delighted that the BBC has agreed to step in and organize next year’s competition.

“I’m just sorry that due to Russia’s continued bloodshed, it was not possible to host the event in Ukraine, where it should take place.

“As hosts, the UK will honor the spirit and diversity of the competition and, above all, ensure that it reflects Ukraine’s recent Eurovision win and Ukrainian creativity.”

TikTok Star Sam Ryder was this year’s finalist with his track Space Man – a big improvement on the UK’s disappointing 2022 score of zero points.

As the biggest live music event in the world, the Eurovision Song Contest has a global audience of around 220 million people.