The UK is in talks to host Eurovision 2023 after Ukraine was ruled out of staging the competition.
Ukraine won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in May while the United Kingdom’s entry Sam Ryder ranked second spot.
While traditionally it is the winning country that hosts the following year’s contest the ongoing conflict in Ukraine has seen it ruled out as a location for the 2023 show.
In a statement, Eurovision organisers the European Broadcasting Union said: “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 [Ukraine’s public broadcaster].
“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 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.”
They added: “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.”
In response, the BBC said: “We have seen the announcement from the EBU. Clearly these aren’t a set of circumstances that anyone would want.
“Following their decision, we will of course discuss the BBC hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.”
It was recently suggested that the UK could hold Eurovision 2023 at the OVO Hydro Arena in Glasgow.
It’s already been speculated that Graham Norton could host the show.
Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “After confirming they would not be able to provide the required security to host next year’s Eurovision in Ukraine, who won the 2022 show last month, the competition’s bosses have asked the BBC if they would be able to host it.
“Graham Norton is the 3/1 favourite to anchor the song contest should it come to the UK next year and he is followed by Holly Willoughby & Phillip Schofield at 9/2, while Bonnie Tyler, who represented the UK at Eurovision in 2013, is 8/1.”
For now, watch this space!