UK urged not to host Eurovision for Ukraine – ‘Total waste of money’

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year but organisers deemed the country unsafe to host next year’s bill due to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion. As a result, Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC agreed to work with the BBC – as the UK’s Sam Ryder came in second place – to host the 2023 contest in the UK.

The head of Ukraine’s public broadcaster, UA:PBC, Mykola Chernotytskyi, said: “The 2023 Eurovision song contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine. We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us.” 

READ MORE: BBC faces staggering bill of £17m to host Eurovision

Mr Chernotytskyi added: “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.” 

In response to the news, ran a poll from 4pm on Monday, July 25, to 1pm on Monday, August 1, asking readers: “Should the UK be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest?”

In total, 1,233 people cast their votes, a strong majority, 76 percent (940 people), answering “no”, opposing the UK being the host nation of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. 

However, 23 percent (286 people) said “yes” the UK should be hosting, while just one percent (seven people) said they did not know.

Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers discussed who should host the next Eurovision Song Contest. 

Readers were against the UK hosting the contest for different reasons, with one, username Neulliac56300, declaring it a “total waste of money”.

Username Rollingstone said: “No, it should be whatever country wins, let them host it and use their money.” 

Username Wilkes27 said: “No this is completely unacceptable. Why on earth should taxpayers foot the bill for this nonsense.” 

And username Oldboots said: “No, the licence fee payer should not be picking up any part of the bill.” 

Meanwhile, username Garibaldi said: “The Eurovision Song Contest is absolute rubbish. Can we just take this opportunity to stop it completely?” 

Executive supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest, Martin Österdahl, said: “We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023.” 

BBC director general Tim Davie said last week: “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.”

And username Tatiana said: “Yes of course we should hold this contest on behalf of Ukraine. What an honour for us to represent Ukraine.” 

While username Tezzer2 wrote: “Yes, however cost should be shared by all competing countries and the show should be hosted by Ukrainian presenters.” 

Eurovision is the world’s largest live music event and reached a global audience of 180 million viewers last year. 

A shortlist of British cities wanting to host the contest in May 2023 have been invited to place their bids with the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), due to publish a longlist later this summer. 

The UK last hosted Eurovision in 1998 and has held the event eight times, more than any other country.

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