Well then. Little did I realise how serendipitous my taking a few days off to recuperate after a nasty bout of Covid would be. There I was having a quiet morning and then it came…the confirmation the United Kingdom is to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.
The delay since the initial EBU announcement has seemingly allowed all relevant parties to consider how a properly shared Ukraine/UK collaboration will look and feel. Over the next nine months, it’s of vital importance Ukraine are as involved as they possibly can be. Giving them their rightful automatic qualifier status, having Ukrainian elements in the show and designing artwork reflecting the situation is a positive start. Whilst the UK will host this must remain as much a joint venture as possible.
Us British Eurofans now find ourselves in the previously unforeseeable scenario of finding somewhere here to host. This isn’t like the old days when the BBC was almost seen as the default option when a winner couldn’t host. The efforts of the Beeb in the 2022 campaign and everything Sam Ryder did has earned the UK this unusual opportunity. Having gone from consecutive last places to hosting so soon is unfathomable.
So where are we going? Every major city will quite rightfully make a claim but I’m going for a two-horse race. Whilst Salford is definitely not Manchester the proximity of the latter to the BBC headquarters in the former lends itself to being a logical base. When you consider the BBC shifted the production up north this year it would be a strong continuation year-on-year. If this were the case I wouldn’t rule out some kind of involvement for AJ Odudu.
However, if they wanted to go properly north then Glasgow must come under serious consideration. I outlined a few years back why I think Scotland’s largest city would be a brilliant host for the Contest. I still stand by this, after all…people make Eurovision.
And now, we get to enjoy the ride. At every turn, we Brits must remember the circumstances in which we find ourselves hosting but must also enjoy this journey. Host cities, logo, artwork, hosts for the show, hosts for the press conferences, tickets and all the other fun and nonsense associated with hosting. After years of dreamland speculation, now we see how the UK will do Eurovision.
Can’t quite believe I’ve actually written that.