Photo: EBU / Thomas Hanses

The BBC’s chief content officer has already made it clear that Eurovision 2023 will go heavy on Ukrainian themes and culture. And now Ukraine’s Oleksandr Tkachenko, the Minister of Culture and Information Policy, has re-iterated the point, saying that a group of Ukrainian creatives will “become an integral part of the show in Great Britain.”

Mr. Tkachenko was speaking on the STB programme Vikna on Saturday. In a wide-ranging interview, he discussed countering Russian propaganda, negotiations with Netflix on various programming, and the organization of Eurovision 2023 in the U.K.

Tkachenko said that during the EBU consultation period, when it was debating where to host Eurovision 2023, talks were held about hosting the contest in “neighbouring countries.” He didn’t clarify which countries. But among the options that spring to mind are Poland, which shares a border with Ukraine and has welcome millions of Ukrainians — some taking temporary residence in the country, others transiting elsewhere in Europe.  

But we all know that the United Kingdom was eventually handed hosting rights. The Minister made it clear that Ukraine’s presence will be felt. He said:

“The Ukrainian flag, videos of Ukrainian cities, Ukrainian presenters, and a Ukrainian creative group will become an integral part of the show in Great Britain.”

The day of the announcement that the U.K. would host, the BBC’s Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore sent the following e-mail to BBC staff.

I’m pleased to share that the BBC will be hosting next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in the UK.

This year the Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra won with their song Stefania, but given Russia’s invasion of their country it will not be possible to host the competition in Ukraine in 2023.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) have therefore asked the BBC to host, as we were the runners-up last year with Sam Ryder’s brilliant performance.

We will work closely with our colleagues at the Ukrainian broadcaster, UA:PBC and will showcase Ukrainian culture and music as a key part of the event.

I’m grateful for the brilliant work that Kate Phillips, the entertainment commissioning team, BBC Radio and BBC Studios did this year to make the UK’s entrant so successful – 9.5 million people across the country viewed Eurovision this year, and I hope it will be even bigger next year when it’s hosted in the UK. Kate will lead the event for us.

I’m sure you’ll all welcome today’s news and feel excited and inspired by the creative opportunities Eurovision 2023 presents for us. We know there will be lots of enthusiasm to be involved – right across the BBC – and we’ll continue to share more detail with you on any opportunities to support.


Timur Miroshnychenko, the Ukrainian Eurovision commentator and a former host of both the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and Eurovision, is among the favourites with the bookies to host Eurovision 2023 in the United Kingdom.

How do you want to see Ukraine reflected in the show? Personally, I want to see Go_A featuring in an interval. Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments box below.

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Eurotoxic
Eurotoxic
3 months ago

Hahaha you are paying the party and you have to act like if you were their slaves

Jillian
Jillian
3 months ago

Since EBU said the contest will have Ukrainian elements in the live shows, I assume there would be something Ukranian related in the interval acts as well as many remarks on saying that Ukraine is the winner from last year and that they’re qualified to the final. Theme will have a word like peace, united or together etc.

Other than that it’s most likely a British show, and hopefully that will be the case as it’s not some fundraiser or a memorial show.

Una
Una
3 months ago

The “flag” situation is definitely important. It’s *a symbol of sovereignty”. They can’t allow only the *Ukrainian flag* in the contest. Showcase all the culture and artists you want. The contest will be held on UK territory. “Flying the flag” is getting a new life altogether.

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago
Reply to  Una

Good point. Especially since they’ve been inclined to believe it never would.

Verska Serduska Support
Verska Serduska Support
3 months ago

UK is going to pay everything and people what Ukranian host, ukranian team… So u want that UK put 20 or 30 millions and Ukraine did everything, no. Ukraine cant host and also cant pay. So Uk has to do it in his way. UK host, team from BBC, I agree that the postcards would be from Ukraine and also invite some interval acts from Ukraine. But that’s all. Ukraine cant pay and host this event. Its simple.

Sara Esparza
Sara Esparza
3 months ago

No. The BBC agreed to pay AND display Ukranian culture. Just because you are xenophobic doesn’t mean you own the world.

UpinSpaceFan
UpinSpaceFan
3 months ago

The EBU have already made it clear that the 2023 contest will integrate a mix of both Ukrainian and British music, culture and creativity, with the logo said to “reflect the unique staging of next year’s contest and the cooperation between the host country and this year’s winners.” While I respect Mr Tkachenko’s enthusiasm, I don’t see his vision for “Ukrainian flag, Ukrainian cities, Ukrainian presenters” coming to pass entirely, and his insistence on these things after the EBU has made its statement reeks of UA:PBC and the Ukrainian government still coming out and dictating what they think should happen… Read more »

Henno
Henno
3 months ago

Volodymyr Ostapchuk for the Ukranian host – his English is fantastic, he’s relaxed and confident and was easily the best of the three presenters back in 2017. Davina McCall, Graham Norton, Volodymyr Ostapchuck and Rylan Clarke-Neale in the Green Room. It could be fantastic.

No.
No.
3 months ago

Actually, I don’t think that Eurovision 2023 needs Ukrainian hosts. Intervals, postcards, themes, etc. of course. But hosting is something rather formal than artistic and it would be great to finally hear someone whose native language is English.

TJCat
TJCat
3 months ago

Does anyone know exactly how much a host country pays out to host. I know each country entering has to pay a contribution and the other of the big five cough ups a generous sum. Plus there are profits to be made, hotels cafes bars all cashing in through the hosts economy, and then major sponsors. I only ask because of the number of people on this thread (and others) saying “the uk/bbc are paying for it” I do appreciate it will costs the uk and the bbc a certain sum of money like any host would, but reading some… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago
Reply to  TJCat

The host broadcaster contributes between 10 to 20m, but it costs more than that. In 2019 it was over 20m, in 2021 about 16m. 2018 was less than that.

Rhys
Rhys
3 months ago

I am one of the biggest supporters of Ukraine but this is starting to get silly now, there should be a Ukrainian flavour to this year but it’s being hosted in the UK and so it should be a UK event , I have the greatest sympathy for what is happing in Ukraine but it’s a song contest not a charity It’s starting to sound more like the BBC is paying everything and getting nothing or just a small part It should be a UK event with Ukrainian elements not the other way around Yeah having a Ukrainian host and… Read more »

Torino Wonderful
Torino Wonderful
3 months ago

One whole year we’ll be talking about this. Not me, I’m tired to be accused of being troll. See you in May.

Héctor
Héctor
3 months ago

Why everything sorrounding Ukraine is so patriotic and nationalistic? It’s almost irritating. Of course, there should be a little bit of Ukraine flavour, some hosts too, but as long as the UK is paying for all of it I think it is only fair to give the BBC the control. Or just get the UA:PBC and the EBU to pay for it. Though the EBU involves funds from every member country. I just hope it doesn’t become too political.

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

Actually this brings out some sensible questions, that is since Ukraine insisted on organizing the festival next year, were they going to pay for it? If so, are they going to contribute towards the festival in the UK, money-wise?

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

Eastern Europe…

Una
Una
3 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

It’s very likely that the UK will make sure the contest will not be getting political at all.

Sara Esparza
Sara Esparza
3 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

I could say the exact same about the UK, nauseating patriotism being pushed by the incumbent and future prime ministers.

Ares
Ares
3 months ago

I’m waiting for them to announce that every country must send their song in Ukrainian

XyZ
XyZ
3 months ago

Ukraine and their propaganda lol What a bunch of creeps.

MonsieurMüller
MonsieurMüller
3 months ago

I understand they’re honouring Ukraine’s victory, but to be honest I really want British flavour in Eurovision 2023.

Rhys
Rhys
3 months ago

??
This!!

Its starting to feel like the UK is going to be paying for everything and going to have nothing to show for it

I’m really hoping this isn’t a Ukrainian washed thing where the UK has hardly any part in this

the BBC are hosts and should be treated as such, they have been nice enough to let Ukraine have a part (I mean you just have to look at the other times when Eurovision wasn’t held in the country that won last)

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago
Reply to  Rhys

It’s not only about Ukraine, who knows what EBU will be doing. Aren’t EBU producers the culprits in making this festival so expensive that many broadcasters can’t afford to host it? Music is the last thing on their minds, apparently. This is about business.

MonsieurMüller
MonsieurMüller
3 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

This is a very good point. Even the Olympics are trying to be less expensive and more sustainable. This is getting so expensive that some countries get discouraged to participate. EBU should even ask for lower feeds to smaller states such as Andorra. Of course it’s about business, as they’re planning to do Eurovision Canada and Eurovision LatAm. What’s next, Eurovision Antarctica?

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago

EBU is humiliating broadcasters and nations, that’s what they are doing. This event should bring countries together, instead they created the rich countries club, the poor countries club and those in between. It’s bad enough that some countries can’t participate, then there are countries that require their representative pays for their own participation and yes that bad too. Then, only broadcasters that can afford to host send competitive songs. 2019 top 3, 2021 top 3, 2022 top 5, are great examples of that.
Yes to Antarctica, the cold should wake them up!

Sara Esparza
Sara Esparza
3 months ago

Did UK win?

ESCFanGA
ESCFanGA
3 months ago

Given the fact that Eurovision can’t be held in Ukraine, I think it’s only fair that the Ukrainians be given control over every other aspect of the contest. It wouldn’t make sense to have British presenters or to do an interval act paying tribute to British music/culture.

Hannah
Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

The EBU said “ The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity”.

Hannah
Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  Hannah

Wait that was Tim Davie from the BBC

Héctor
Héctor
3 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

Yeah, so why would you think if I celebrated my birthday party in your home only that you are paying for all of it and don’t have a say in any part of the decisionmaking? Fun, isn’t it?

Héctor
Héctor
3 months ago
Reply to  Héctor

What would you think***

Rhys
Rhys
3 months ago
Reply to  ESCFanGA

So basically, the UK/BBC just pays for everything and just have it completely Ukrainian

That’s completely fair isn’t it ?

The show was given to the BBC they should have FULL control on what you is going on on THEIR contest

Sara Esparza
Sara Esparza
3 months ago
Reply to  Rhys

Yes, because the BBC literally made that decision themselves.

Liam Lindsay
Liam Lindsay
3 months ago

I can cosign to this as this to be expected. But as long Manchester is the host.

Hebbo
Hebbo
3 months ago

I really hope the BBC does not become a simply a production cash-cow for the EBU here… if the show is being paid for by the British public then it better have some British flavour to it, at least equal to the Ukranian elements. This is the Eurovision Song Contest – NOT a sympathy showcase telethon for a nation at war. We all support Ukraine in her fight, but Eurovision and political notions MUST remain mutually exclusive. (Fat chance of that). I hope I am wrong. Looking forward to the show.

Voilà monsieur
Voilà monsieur
3 months ago

Of course there should be a Ukrainian segment in next year’s contest, but for everything to be Ukrainian and not British (despite the ones hosting the thing).

I can’t remember the Netherlands in 1980 doing an Israeli-themed contest when Israel couldn’t host that year!

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
3 months ago

Israel didn’t even participate that year because the date of the 1980 contest clashed with an important Memorial Day.

Im so fab
Im so fab
3 months ago

No, thank you. I’d rather see memes about tea, soccer and the Queen, rather than we*pons and patriotic “songs”.

Since 2016, almost every ESC is about Ukraine with one way or another, even the ones that Ukraine didn’t take part. I’m fed up.

Teddy
3 months ago

This is great news, UA:PBC and the BBC have both produced excellent contests and unlike previous occasions where the winners refused to host, Ukraine desperately wants to be involved. How people can claim to “support” Ukraine while hoping to erase them from the contest they won fairly doesn’t make sense at all. The whole war is about erasing Ukrainian culture from the mainstream. The reason why Ukrainians take the contest so seriously is because Eurovision is the single largest global stage to showcase Ukraine and it’s culture to the world, just as it is for most of Europe’s other nations.… Read more »

Colin
Colin
3 months ago
Reply to  Teddy

Exactly this! I wanted for the *location* to be outside of Ukraine for the time being, just for security reasons (which aren’t Ukraine’s fault by any means). It’s still *their* legitimate victory, and Ukraine should be celebrated as the rightful winner. Their hosts, their intervals, their history. UK provides for the territory, and can also include their culture intertwined with the Ukrainian one. With BBC’s budget and tradition for finesse, and Ukrainian usual creativity, we might have a great contest in our hands.

Denis
Denis
3 months ago
Reply to  Teddy

No one said it should be only about UK, they say it should be 50/ 50. Which is realistic.
BBC is paying for it, it should be their party as well. The British should not be ignored either. Part of hosting is to show your culture and since BBC are hosts they should show their culture to as well.

Teddy
3 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Then we agree! This contest is going to be amazing because they’re sharing the duties and there’s too many people here saying Ukraine are spoiling Eurovision when they aren’t even the main broadcaster and didn’t vote for themselves to win.

Hebbo
Hebbo
3 months ago
Reply to  Teddy

What a rediculously magnanimous comment. Our hard-earned, tightly-squeezed cash through tax and the license fee is funding the ESC2023 project. If it’s going to take place on British soil, funded with BBC money, we have EVERY right to suggest and even INSIST that it is at least a jointly-themed show, just like some Ukranian politicians/media bosses are INSISTING the show be overwhelmingly about Ukraine. So throw your sass and accusations of “hating on Ukraine” bloody elsewhere.

Ellie
Ellie
3 months ago
Reply to  Hebbo

Ukraine won. That’s why it should be overwhelmingly about Ukraine. The UK was offered–but not forced–the opportunity to host it in Ukraine’s stead. Ukraine still won. It’s not a difficult concept.

It’s also not a difficult concept that at a time when Ukrainian culture, language, history, and identity are under attack as much as their land and people, it’s of utmost importance to see it celebrated.

Hannah
Hannah
3 months ago
Reply to  Ellie

Don’t you people ever read? On the Eurovision website it said “The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity”.

Ellie
Ellie
3 months ago
Reply to  Hannah

Hmm, who was that guy who not a week ago released a video to remind you all that “it’s Ukraine’s party, we’re just inviting them to throw it at our house”?

Y’all championed Sam Ryder then for being decent and kind and then straight up ignored the crux of his message. I’ll say it over and over if necessary: Ukraine. Won.

Verska Serduska Support
Verska Serduska Support
3 months ago
Reply to  Ellie

Its not difficult to understand that is not going to pay nothing. So If UK is going to put all the money they have to do it their way. End of the history. Everybody knows that Ukraine won but they can’t host the event thats all. We dont need Ukraine host to remember it. Eurovision 2023 is going to be financially from Uk so the host, the team, producers should be from UK. Im agree that the postcards could be from ukraine and also to have some interval acts from Ukraine but thats all. Uk is taking the host and… Read more »

Teddy
3 months ago
Reply to  Hebbo

The only sass provided here is yours sadly. That was the first time I’ve seen magnanimous used as an insult, congratulations… If you want the show to be jointly Ukrainian and British, then we agree and you’ve missed the point. As one of those “tax paying citizens” myself, this article really shouldn’t cause that much concern. What were you expecting 50:50 to look like? Graham Norton saying “lots of love Ukraine xoxo” and moving on? The host city will already get all the publicity and economic benefit and the BBC will get their ratings boost, what else are you expecting… Read more »

Hebbo
Hebbo
3 months ago
Reply to  Teddy

You cannot simply subjegate the conversation and brazenly accuse commenters here of “throwing hate on people simply trying to survive” – how obnoxious. We’re sharing our (highly polarised) opinions on the production of the contest, nothing more, nothing less – not deliberating whether Ukranians should survive or not. What a ludicrous thing to say.

Teddy
3 months ago
Reply to  Hebbo

But that’s what’s happening?? There are people here who claim Ukraine doesn’t even deserve to COMPETE yet I’M the one being brazen?? I said that Ukraine and the UK going to share it 50:50 and people shouldn’t send hate to a broadcaster that simply wants to organise the show.

I clearly agreed with you when you said it should be 50:50 yet you’re here throwing insults. There are CLEARLY people who are crossing the line beyond “sharing an opinion” and if you can’t see that then good luck I guess.

JHSjak
JHSjak
3 months ago
Reply to  Teddy

You can’t really compete with the eurogaydramaqueens, so yeah…everything that you said makes sense.

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago

IT’S COMING HOME!

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

It’s not coming home if the show will reflect some other country. We can’t act that UK won this year if they didn’t.

esc2022turin
esc2022turin
3 months ago

Ofc Ukraine won and they deserved to have their moment next year, but it’s the UK who’s gonna host and pay for it so I hope that both of the countries will get a same and fair credit in ESC2023

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
3 months ago

I mean the ukrainian minister of culture will probably overstate a lot of things. There probably will be a great mixture of bbc’s creative team working together with UA PBC. I just hope they will be open in working together. I feel like both teams standing on completely opposite sides and not wanting to give in to each others ideas or visions could be one of the biggest problems of next years edition. 2017 Had a literal walk out of the production team and the swedes had to take over..

Hebbo
Hebbo
3 months ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

That happened in 2017? I never knew that.

Verska Serduska Support
Verska Serduska Support
3 months ago
Reply to  Hebbo

Yes Bjorkman the producer of Melodifestivalen and Euovision 2013 and 2016 (years that Sweden won Eurovision) was also the producer of Eurovision 2017. So im tired of this from Ukraine that they should do everything when in 2017 they need Swedish help.

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
3 months ago

But it will make Zelensky smile and feel better if the whole show will be about Ukraine…

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
3 months ago

I’m sorry, but this is humiliating for such great country like United Kingdom. They didn’t win, ok they were second and they are the hosts and they fund everything, and now the whole show has to be about Ukraine. I fully support Ukraine against Russia, but their politicians and their preoccupation about Eurovision is extremely ignorant.

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

And British flag should be in the heart of the logo come on, they are the hosts!

Thallo
Thallo
3 months ago

Only having Ukrainian hosts sounds like a disaster. A stadium full of Brits won’t react well to the (likely) cringeworthy humour of Ukrainian hosts. They need at least one witty Brit on stage to bring some fun & laughs!

UA:PBC actually wanted Milla Jovovich to host back in 2017 but they couldn’t afford her booking fee. So I have a strong feeling the BBC will fork out the cash for her to be the Ukrainian host. Hell, they could even afford Mila Kunis or the Klitschko brothers to be the Ukranian host if they wanted!

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago
Reply to  Thallo

Her heritage is Russian and Serbian, she was born in Ukraine but lived there for about four or five years.

Dawid
Dawid
3 months ago
Reply to  Whisker

Russian that’s openly against invasion would be even better imo

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago
Reply to  Dawid

If the festival was held in Ukraine, why not. But since the UK is hosting it, that shouldn’t be very wise.
Anyway, the Ukrainian broadcaster should pick their own talent, it’s them who need exposure. The Greeks had a Greek-American TV person co-host in 2006, maybe back then, English was a problem. Or at least they could have Europeans of Ukrainian heritage, not Americans. Even at the UEFA women’s cup 2022 they had an American actress doing some narration in the intro. That was beyond ridiculous and insulting.
Also, TV hosting is not the same as acting.

Pete
Pete
3 months ago

Don’t just stand there, let’s get to it
Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it
Vogue, vogue…

jercle01
jercle01
3 months ago

I think this is going to be a contentious issue right up to the contest, and maybe even after it as well. I, like quite lot of fans I think, don’t want a Rule Britannia-singing, Union Jack-waving, Best of British-celebrating contest. At the same time, the BBC is hosting it, and I would equally be disappointed if it’s a Ukrainian contest, just on British soil. It shouldn’t just be Ukrainian presenters, postcards, intervals, because that just doesn’t seem right either. So there needs to be balance here, and it’s going to be very hard to get it right, particularly with… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
3 months ago

Logo, slogan, hosts, and postcards highlighting Ukraine *and* the UK would be fair. Ideally there should be only Ukrainian interval acts, but maybe that’s not practical.
I hope the BBC will bring the postcards thing at a game-changing level. 2019 was super-cool, but the 2020 and 2021 postcards weren’t that nice in terms of production.

Denis
Denis
3 months ago

And the UK element will consist of what exactly? The arena?
An even split is absolutely the best, not a ” UK hosting only on paper” situation

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
3 months ago
Reply to  Denis

Ukrainian politicians will try to make it completely Ukrainian show. And they will try to win next year too so that Ukraine hosts Eurovision 2024.

Truth Spitter
Truth Spitter
3 months ago
Reply to  Eurovision fan

No they will not. Your comments are making people with brain lose braincells. Leave internet.

Esc43
Esc43
3 months ago

As they host together everything should appear both.. Both UK and Ukraine flags, both British and Ukrainian presenters and both British and Ukrainian cities…. BBC will put so much money to advertise Ukraine only? Lol..

Rifki
Rifki
3 months ago

1. Ukrainian flag? yes. but the UK flag should appear too. better be Ukrainian flag at the right half of the heart (representing the winning country) and the UK flag at the left half of the heart (representing the hosting country. 2. videos of Ukrainian cities? well I have to be sorry because I disagree with this at all. why? because, physically, it is not in Ukraine (but the UK). the better idea for the videos is to show Ukrainian diaspora/expatriates/refugees in the UK, spread across many UK cities. 3. Ukrainian presenters? yes. but, there should be UK presenters as… Read more »

Rifki
Rifki
3 months ago
Reply to  Rifki

*it’s a shame that I can’t edit my wiwibloggs comment.
at the first point, I said “Ukrainian at the right half and the UK at the left half”, while, in fact, it should have been reversed (so that the winning country appears earlier than the hosting country).

limlom
limlom
3 months ago
Reply to  Rifki

I like the idea of the UK flag in the heart and then the logo incorporating the Ukrainian colours of blue and yellow.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
3 months ago
Reply to  limlom

Or it could be a combo. The union jack in the colors of Ukraine blue and yellow

Luke B
Luke B
3 months ago

Absolutely showcase Ukraine, but allow the Brits their share of the pie. I’m more in favour of a 50/50 split with regards to presenters, interval acts etc.

Mr Tkachenko mentioned ‘videos of Ukranian cities’ – is he referring to the postcards? Have fun with that, there’s hardly anything left of them. Surely it would be better to have the postcards in the UK, with Ukranian refugees featured, maybe doing cultural stuff with the artist.

I just hope we get some clarification soon on what will be Ukranian and what will be British.

sam
sam
3 months ago
Reply to  Luke B

the “there’s hardly anything left of them” comment feels tone deaf and inconsiderate but i do agree that having the postcards be the competing artists experiencing ukrainian culture alongside ukrainian refugees is a great idea. much better than some drone shots of different cities

honestly though, i’ll be fine with any postcard as long as they aren’t as cheap and poorly made as this years. nobody wants to see random pictures of the competing artists badly photoshopped into the cityscape again. please

Euro Lala
Euro Lala
3 months ago
Reply to  Luke B

Why do we need clarification soon? There’s plenty of time to work out the details.

Ellie
Ellie
3 months ago

Absolutely a Go_A interval act and I’d love to see them perform Solovey, to keep up the practice of featuring 2020 songs.

Alfie2
Alfie2
3 months ago

First comment, and proud of it! UK/UA hosting in conjunction will be great!