AJ Odudu wants to host Eurovision Song Contest 2023 after competition was moved to UK from Ukraine

AJ Odudu wants to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 after it was decided competition will be held in the UK following war-torn Ukraine’s triumph this year

  • AJ Odudu has put her name forward as a possible presenter for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest
  • Britain will host the music competition in 2023 on behalf of Ukraine after their entry Kalush Orchestra triumphed this year, with organisers concluding that the war-torn country could not hold the event for ‘safety and security reasons’
  • Television presenter, AJ, 34, is keen for the contest to be hosted at Media City in Salford, with AJ having hosted the jury’s vote from Greater Manchester this year 
  • The Ukrainian entry, Kalush Orchestra, won the annual competition just over two months ago in an emotional victory in Turin, Italy 

AJ Odudu has put her name forward as a possible presenter for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

Britain will host the music competition in 2023 on behalf of Ukraine after their entry Kalush Orchestra triumphed this year, with organisers concluding that the war-torn country could not hold the event for ‘safety and security reasons’.

Television presenter, AJ, 34, is keen for the contest to be hosted at Media City in Salford, with AJ having hosted the jury’s vote from Greater Manchester this year.

Dreaming big: AJ Odudu, 34, has put her name forward as a possible presenter for next year's Eurovision Song Contest

Dreaming big: AJ Odudu, 34, has put her name forward as a possible presenter for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest

She told the Mirror: ‘Just shouting out ‘from Greater Manchester’ was incredible. When it was announced that the UK will host it, I was buzzing.

‘For it to come live from Salford this year, which has never happened, and for me to be the face of it… just wow – that would absolutely be the cherry on the top of the cake.’  

The Ukrainian entry, Kalush Orchestra, won the annual competition just over two months ago in an emotional victory in Turin, Italy, on May 14 and it is traditional that the winning country hosts the event the following year.

Making music: Britain will host the music competition in 2023 on behalf of Ukraine after their entry Kalush Orchestra triumphed this year

Making music: Britain will host the music competition in 2023 on behalf of Ukraine after their entry Kalush Orchestra triumphed this year

But the European Broadcasting Union said last month that it had concluded after a study that the ‘security and operational guarantees’ required to host the event could not be fulfilled by Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC.

The BBC, as national broadcaster of the UK, which was the runner-up this year with Sam Ryder’s Space Man, was invited to act as host – and the corporation confirmed this week that it would hold what will be the 67th contest. The event normally draws a television audience of about 200million and was last held in Britain in Birmingham in 1998.

AJ said: ‘We’ll make sure it’s all about Ukraine. They did fantastically well to even get there in the circumstances.’

Born to perform: UK entry Sam Ryder came second with his song Space Man at this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Turin on May 14

Born to perform: UK entry Sam Ryder came second with his song Space Man at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Turin on May 14

UK has held Eurovision Song Contest eight times

The UK has staged the Eurovision Song Contest more times than any other country, in the following cities:

  • 1960 – London (Royal Festival Hall)
  • 1963 – London (BBC Television Centre)
  • 1968 – London (Royal Albert Hall)
  • 1972 – Edinburgh (Usher Hall)
  • 1974 – Brighton (Brighton Dome)
  • 1977 – London (Wembley Conference Centre)
  • 1982 – Harrogate (Harrogate International Centre)
  • 1998 – Birmingham (National Indoor Arena)
  • 2023 – TBC

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The BBC has now started searching for the host city, with the broadcaster saying in a statement: ‘It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

‘Being asked to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege.

‘The BBC will now begin the process to find a host city to partner with us on delivering one of the most exciting events to come to the UK in 2023.’

Martin Osterdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s executive supervisor, added: ‘We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023.

‘The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions.

‘Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.’

Mykola Chernotytskyi, Chief Executive Officer at Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC), confirmed the BBC and European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will honour Ukrainian culture and Kalush Orchestra’s win with the song Stefania, despite the move to the UK.

He said: ‘The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine.

‘We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us. 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.’

Looking back: The 1998 Eurovision Song Contest was held last in the UK in Birmingham after Katrina and the Waves won with 'Love Shine a Light' in Dublin the previous year (pictured posing in May 1997 following their win)

Looking back: The 1998 Eurovision Song Contest was held last in the UK in Birmingham after Katrina and the Waves won with ‘Love Shine a Light’ in Dublin the previous year (pictured posing in May 1997 following their win)

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