Eurovision: Commentator jokes BBC is ‘nervous’ about hosting
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The EBU (European Broadcasting Union) announced on Friday that the Eurovision Song Contest wouldn’t take place in Ukraine in 2023 as the country continues to fight Russian attacks. After the UK’s entry Sam Ryder finished second behind Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra in the 2022 competition, the EBU confirmed “discussions with the BBC” have now begun to see if the UK can host next year’s event. However, the BBC’s response hasn’t left many fans best pleased.
After thanking Ukraine and its public broacaster UA:PBC, the EBU said in its statement: “As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.”
The BBC then released a statement of its own, which it shared on its Press Office Twitter account.
It read: “We have seen the announcement from the EBU. Clearly, these aren’t a set of circumstances that anyone would want.
“Following their decision, we will of course discuss the BBC hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.”
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While the BBC confirmed it would open talks with the EBU, a number of Eurovision fans blasted the tone of the statement.
In response, Twitter user @AlfieS12 commented: “Why is this statement making me laugh so much? It somehow still seems reluctant. #Eurovision.”
And @moojuiceuk echoed: “It seems auntie beeb isn’t overly keen on hosting Eurovision. As an EBU member @ITV would you do it for once?”
Elsewhere, @Ginger_Canary put plainly: “Well doesn’t that sound very enthusiastic.”
While Ethel Crimble sarcastically tweeted: “Couldn’t you sound a little more reluctant?”
And @cameronclark_98 was also quick to criticise the statement, tweeting: “Come on bbc, sound a little more excited. You’re time to shine.”
However, there was some defence of the BBC’s response, with many suggesting the sensitive nature of the circumstances which have resulted in the UK’s potential hosting duties being behind the wording.
Daniel Reid pointed out: ”I think they’re being respectful to Ukraine by not seeking too excited.”
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And Anne-Marie Thompson made clear: “As long as Ukraine is co-hosting and the show is heavily about them!” (sic)
With discussions only just beginning, there has been no official confirmation of where Eurovision 2023 will be held.
However, a number of cities have already thrown their hats in the ring to host, including Glasgow, London, Leeds, Cardiff and Manchester.
But speaking on BBC Breakfast on Saturday to Naga Munchetty and Ben Thompson, TV critic and Eurovision fan Scott Bryan suggested the BBC may be “nervous” to host.
Scott said to the BBC hosts: “I think having the world’s biggest live TV event with potentially up to 200 million people now thrust on them is probably a circumstance that they’re probably thinking, ‘Oh, no thank you!’
“Also, knowing that it will put them onto the world stage, the BBC of course is internationally and globally respected, they’ve got the crews who would be able to pull this off so I think it’s a bit of a balancing act.
“What was actually quite funny was that during the commentary during the night, when Sam Ryder was initially going right ahead with the try vote, Graham Norton joked, ‘Someone at the BBC is getting nervous.’
“And now, somebody at the BBC is getting nervous just simply about whether they’d be able to pull this off!”
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