The Eurovision Song Contest will be held in the UK in 2023 after the show’s organizers decided it could not take place in Ukraine.
Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 with the song Stefania by Kalush Orchestra and got the right to host the 2023 edition.
However, the organizers concluded that this event could not be held safely due to the ongoing war with Russia.
Britain’s Sam Ryder finished second this year, prompting the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to hold talks with the BBC.
When was the last time Britain hosted Eurovision?
The UK last hosted Eurovision in May 1998. By the time Tony Blair’s New Labor was in power for around a year, All Saints were number one in the UK Singles Chart and Bill Clinton was caught up in the Monica Lewinski scandal.
Birmingham was selected as the host city, with the event taking place at the National Indoor Arena. Although the arena held around 13,000 spectators, the BBC decided to fill less than half of the venue, with only 4,000 fans allowed to attend.
In the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest, the UK, with its entry of Imaani with the song Where Are You? finish second on home soil.
Second place would remain Britain’s highest-grossing Eurovision performance for the next 24 years, until Sam Ryder accomplished the same feat with the song Space Man in 2022.
When did Britain last win Eurovision?
The UK last won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves performing the song Love Shine a Light.
The band, which included Katrina Leskanich, Kimberley Rew, Vince de la Cruz and Alex Cooper, was active from 1981 to 1999 and is best known for their 1985 hit “Walking on Sunshine”.
How many times has Britain won Eurovision?
The UK debuted in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1957, since then the UK has won the competition five times. Here are the five winning acts from Eurovision
- 1967, Sandie Shaw – Puppet on a String
- 1969, Lulu – Boom Bang-a-bang (joint winner with France, Netherlands and Spain)
- 1976, Brotherhood of Man – Save your kisses for me
- 1981, Bucks Fizz – Make up your mind
- 1997, Katrina and the Waves – Love Shine a Light
How many times has the UK hosted Eurovision?
The UK has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest eight times – more than any other country.
Britain hosted the Netherlands in 1960 after they turned down the opportunity to host the event.
They also hosted France in 1963 due to the country’s financial difficulties, Monaco in 1972 as they could not find a suitable venue and Luxembourg in 1974 due to financial difficulties.
Here is a full list of occasions when the UK has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest:
- London, 1960
- London, 1963
- London, 1968
- Edinburgh, 1972
- Brighton, 1974
- London, 1977
- Harrogate, 1982
- Birmingham, 1998
Responding to the UK hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2023
Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has thrown his support behind the country hosting Eurovision 2023.
Mr Johnson wrote on Twitter: “Wherever Eurovision 2023 takes place, it must celebrate the country and people of Ukraine. Now that we are hosting, the UK will deliver on that promise straight away – and put on a fantastic competition on behalf of our Ukrainian friends.”
A number of cities are expected to bid to host the singing competition, with London and Manchester already confirming that they plan to officially bid.
The UK has a number of locations with suitable arenas, accommodation and transport links.