Sadiq Khan launches bid for London to ‘step in’ and host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023

It’s not yet known which city will host the event but the mayor of London said the capital is “ready and willing to step in.”

Sadiq Khan has launched a bid for London to host next year’s Eurovision song contest, following Ukraine’s announcement that it would no longer be able to host the event.

Ukraine was set to host the 2023 edition of Eurovision, after their entry Kalush Orchestra won this year’s contest with a staggering 631 points.

Sam Ryder came second for the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, the country’s best result since 1998.

But organisers said on Friday that the ongoing war with Russia presents serious “safety and security issues”.

The UK emerged as the best alternative to host Eurovision 2023 after Sam Ryder and his song “SpaceMan” secured the runner-up spot for Britain this year – the nation’s best result since 1998.

It’s not yet known which city will host the event but the mayor of London said the capital is “ready and willing to step in.”

Mr Khan wrote on Twitter: “It’s very disappointing for Ukraine that they will be unable to host Eurovision next year.

“London is ready and willing to step in.

“We would be honoured to put on a contest that celebrates the people of Ukraine and shows off the very best of Britain.”

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London

The UK last hosted Eurovision in 1998 when it was broadcast from Birmingham, but London has not hosted the contest since 1977.

A bidding process will begin this week in which cities will have to prove they have the right facilities to host the event.

There are many requirements that a city must meet in order to hold Eurovision and the event’s website highlights the key ones.

It states: "The venue should accommodate around 10,000 spectators and the city should be within easy reach of an international airport.

"The location must also have enough hotel accommodation for at least 2,000 delegates, accredited journalists and spectators."

Glasgow and Manchester have also expressed interest in becoming Eurovision hosts.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted on Friday that Glasgow’s OVO Hydro Arena would be the “perfect venue” to host Eurovision 2023.

Meanwhile Sacha Lord, night-time economy adviser to Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, said he was “confident the right people would give it their full support” to bring Eurovision to Manchester.

Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham, Aberdeen, Brighton, Bristol, Belfast and Cardiff could also be in the running among others.

Outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter: “Last week President Zelensky and I agreed that wherever Eurovision 2023 is held, it must celebrate the country and people of Ukraine.

“As we are now hosts, the UK will honour that pledge directly – and put on a fantastic contest on behalf of our Ukrainian friends.”

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries said: "Following a request from the European Broadcasting Union and the Ukrainian authorities, I’m delighted that the BBC has agreed to step in and host next year’s contest.”

"I’m just sorry that due to Russia’s continued acts of bloodshed it has not been possible to host the event in Ukraine, where it should be."

"We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us," said Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of Ukraine’s public broadcaster, UA:PBC.

"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."