UK asked to host Eurovision Song Contest as Ukraine officially pulls out

The Eurovision Broadcasting Union has announced that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be held in Ukraine after Kalush Orchestra’s win last month.

In a statement this morning, the EBU said: ‘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.’

It went on to address the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the organisation has taken time to work out whether it would be ‘feasible’ to host in the winning country.

‘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 statement continued.

The EBU went on to thank Ukraine’s public broadcaster for their ‘wholehearted operation’ while options were being explored, who have expressed their ‘sadness and disappointment.’

Rylan Clark, who hosted the semi-finals for the UK alongside Scott Mills, was amongst the first to react, simply posting a Union Jack flag on his Twitter account.

This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.

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