Eurovision 2023: Call for Wales to host contest backed by Senedd

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Members of the band Kalush Orchestra pose on stage with the winner's trophy and Ukraine's flags after winning on behalf of Ukraine the Eurovision Song contest 2022 on May 14, 2022 at the Pala Alpitour venue in TurinImage source, AFP
Image caption,
Ukraine won this year's contest thanks to Kalush Orchestra

Senedd members have backed a call for Wales to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, with Ukraine unable to.

As this year's winners of the contest, Ukraine would normally host the show, but organisers have said they thought it would be too unsafe following the Russian invasion.

The competition's planner, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), is discussing holding it in the UK instead.

The UK came second in the contest.

Welsh Conservative MS Tom Giffard said: "As the land of song, I couldn't think of anywhere more fitting to host Eurovision - let's welcome the world to Wales."

Last week, the EBU said next year's Eurovision song contest could not be held in Ukraine following Russia's invasion.

The country's entrant Kalush Orchestra won the contest, in May, in a symbolic show of public support.

Image source, PA Media
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This year the winner was Ukraine, with Britain's Sam Ryder coming second

British entrant Sam Ryder came second in this year's contest with his single Spaceman.

In the Senedd on Wednesday, members backed Conservative calls for the Welsh government to make approaches to bring the contest to Cardiff.

Mr Giffard, the party's spokesperson on culture, sport and tourism said: "Whilst it's sad and regrettable that Ukraine can't host the Eurovision Song Contest this year, this offers a wonderful opportunity for Wales to step up and host Eurovision.

"Given the circumstances surrounding Ukraine's inability to host the contest this year, we need to make sure that whichever city is selected honours the Ukrainian victory at the 2022 contest and make sure that it feels as Ukrainian as possible.

"Hosting the competition would bring huge benefits including a big economic boost and an increased awareness and visibility of our country."

He added: "As the land of song, I couldn't think of anywhere more fitting to host Eurovision - let's welcome the world to Wales."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The Principality Stadium has said it would "relish" the chance to host Eurovision

For the Welsh government, culture minister Dawn Bowden said Cardiff council and the Principality Stadium in the city had shown interest in staging the event and she said she would hold discussions with them and the BBC if the event could not be held in Ukraine.

However, she said: "We should await a final decision on which nation will be hosting the Eurovision song contest and if that turns out to be the UK then we will fully participate in the process for seeking to host the event."

The Conservative motion, backed by 40 Senedd members with 10 abstentions and no votes against, calls on the Welsh government to engage with the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union regarding hosting the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Wales.