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When did the UK last host Eurovision and where could it be?-Caroline Westbrook-Entertainment – Metro

The UK’s welcomed the contest to its shores before.

When did the UK last host Eurovision and where could it be?-Caroline Westbrook-Entertainment – Metro

Eurovision 2023 in the UK is looking increasingly likely (Picture: Getty Images)

It’s looking likely that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be coming to the United Kingdom, after the European Broadcasting Union announced that 2022 winners Ukraine will be unable to host.

Kalush Orchestra took top honours in Turin in May with their track Stefania, ahead of the UK’s Sam Ryder – and under normal circumstances this would mean the contest would have taken place in one of Ukraine’s major cities next year.

But the EBU has now said in a statement: ‘Following their win at the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in May the EBU has been exploring options for the hosting of next year’s competition with Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC, who previously staged the event in 2017 and 2005.

‘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.’

They went on to confirm that talks were now underway with the BBC about hosting next year’s event, given the UK’s runner-up status.

Of course, it won’t be the first time the UK has hosted the contest – assuming the BBC agrees to it – but given our recent run of disappointing results at the contest it’s been a while since the Eurovision party bus last came to these shores.

So just how many times have the UK hosted – and which city could we be off to in 2023?

When did the UK last host Eurovision?

Kalush Orchestra took the 2022 trophy for Ukraine with their song Stefania (Picture: Getty Images)

The Eurovision Song Contest was last held in the UK in 1998, following Katrina And The Waves’ victory in 1997 with Love Shine A Light.

On that occasion the contest took place at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, hosted by Ulrika Jonsson and Sir Terry Wogan.

That year the contest was won by Israel’s Dana International with the song Diva, while the UK’s act Imaani, and her song Where Are You, finished in second place.

How many times has the UK hosted Eurovision?

The UK is no stranger when it comes to hosting the contest, having welcomed Eurovision to these shores no less than eight times – and previously stepping in when other countries were unable to host.

Their previous Eurovision hosting gigs were as follows:

The UK had the chance to host after Bucks Fizz’s victory in Dublin in 1981 (Picture: Getty Images)

1960 – London1963 – London1968 – London (following Sandie Shaw’s win in 1967) 1972 – Edinburgh1974 – Brighton1977 – London (following Brotherhood of Man’s win in 1976)1982 – Harrogate (following Bucks Fizz’s win in 1981)1998 – Birmingham (following Katrina And The Waves’ win in 1997)

Although the UK has won the contest five times they did not host after Lulu’s win in 1969 – that honour went to the Netherlands, who were one of four countries who tied for the trophy the year before.

Where in the UK could the 2023 contest be?

Glasgow’s OVO Hydro – currently being tipped as the 2023 contest venue – served as a location for the Eurovision movie (Picture: Netflix)

It’s too early to say where in the UK the contest could take place.

Although London might sound like an obvious choice, it’s previously been suggested that organisers might give the capital a miss in favour of one of the country’s other major cities – with Manchester and Cardiff having previously been mentioned as potential hosts if the contest ever returned to the UK.

However, the current front-runner, according to the rumour mill, is Glasgow – with suggestions among fans that the OVO Hydro could end up playing host to the annual pan-continental event.

The venue has listed the Magic Mike arena tour on April 25, Andre Rieu on May 27 and Ozzy Osbourne: No More Tours from June 2-4, but currently nothing else in the month of May.

The Hydro would also be an apt choice given it was used in the filming of Will Ferrell’s movie Eurovision – although it’s worth noting that wherever the contest takes place might need to be free from earlier on in April to allow time for the stage to be constructed ahead of rehearsals.

A statement from the BBC on the Eurovision Song Contest

— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) June 17, 2022

Wherever it takes place, you can expect the shows next year to have a Ukrainian element to them, with the EBU saying: ‘It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflect in next year’s shows.

‘This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.’

We’ll have to wait a little longer for the UK’s involvement to be confirmed, mind, as the BBC has made it clear that discussions about hosting have yet to start.

‘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,’ the broadcaster said.

The next Eurovision Song Contest will take place in May 2023, with the exact date yet to be confirmed.

MORE : Eurovision superstar Sam Ryder snapped up for Celebrity Gogglebox with Radio 1 pal Scott Mills

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