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.