PM backs Ukraine to host Eurovision contest

Prime Minister backs Ukraine to host 2023 Eurovision contest.

Boris Johnson has said that Ukraine should be given the chance to host the Eurovision Song Contest next year after event organisers announced the event cannot go ahead in the war-torn country.

The European Broadcasting Union, who organise the contest, announced Friday that after assessing all options of hosting it in Ukraine, they concluded that the security and operational guarantees required for a broadcaster to host had not been met.

The EBU had been in discussions with Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC who staged the contest in 2005 and 2017.

“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.”  – EBU statement

The 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Italy last month, was won by Kalush Orchestra. The group were given special permission to leave Ukraine as currently adult males are not permitted to leave the country given the on-going war following Russia’s invasion.

The EBU has said it will begin discussions with the BBC about hosting next year’s event in the UK.  This has sparked criticism by some Ukrainian officials who say the event should be held in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv next May.

The UK has been given the chance to host the 2023 contest after they finished second, thanks to Sam Ryder’s song ‘Spaceman’. It was the UK’s best performance since 1998. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who made a surprise visit to Ukraine on Friday, has backed Ukraine hosting the event, insisting that “it’s going to be fine” by next May.

“The Ukrainians won it fair and square, even though we had a brilliant entry, and they should be given the chance to host it. It’s a year away. It’s going to be fine by the time the Eurovision Song Contest comes around and I hope they get it.” – Prime Minister Boris Johnson

A number of cities, such as Glasgow and Manchester, are hoping they are chosen to host the event, which will see a boost to the local economy given the thousands of people who attend the semi-finals and final.

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