The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is officially going to take place in the United Kingdom.
The European Broadcasting Union and the BBC announced today that the UK would host next year's competition as Ukraine, who won this year's contest, are unable to host due to the Russian invasion of the country and concerns over safety and security.
The host city for the 2023 contest hasn't been decided yet, as cities are being invited to apply during a bidding contest that begins this week.
Wherever it will be held, the EBU has stated that the show will reflect Ukrainian culture, while Ukraine will be entered automatically into the grand final alongside the 'Big 5' countries – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – who are always in the final due to their financial contributions.
Traditionally, the host nation/reigning champion also qualifies automatically for the grand final.
"We're exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023," said Eurovision executive supervisor Martin Österdahl.
"The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous 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."
"We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us," added Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of the board that manages Ukraine's public broadcaster UA:PBC.
"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."
The BBC has added that it hopes to announced the host city in the autumn, and that the broadcaster will produce the two semi-finals and the grand final. The 2023 logo is set to be announced soon, and will reflect the collaboration between the UK and Ukraine.
"It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Being asked to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege," said BBC director-general Tim Davie.
"The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity."
The United Kingdom has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest for other countries four times already, with its current hosting total of eight making it the country that has hosted Eurovision the most.
Criteria for a host city in 2022 included having a venue that could host at least 10,000 spectators, as well as all the infrastructure necessary for hosting the event with criteria including a press centre, "ample hotel accommodation" and close proximity to an international airport.
Numerous cities across the UK are believed to be interested in hosting Eurovision in 2023.
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