When did the UK last host Eurovision? Where was it, who won, how many times has song contest been held in UK

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The UK will host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of 2022 winners Ukraine

The Eurovision Song Contest will be held in the UK in 2023, after show organisers decided it could not be held in Ukraine.

Ukraine won the 2022 Eurovision with the song Stefania by Kalush Orchestra, earning the right to host the 2023 edition.

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However, the organisers concluded that this event could not be held safely due to the ongoing war with Russia.

The UK’s Sam Ryder came second this year, which prompted the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to hold talks with the BBC.

Sam Ryder finished second in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. (Getty Images) Sam Ryder finished second in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. (Getty Images)
Sam Ryder finished second in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

When did the UK last host Eurovision?

The UK last hosted Eurovision in May 1998. At the time Tony Blair’s New Labour had been in power for around a year, All Saints were number one in the UK charts and Bill Clinton became caught up in the Monica Lewinski scandal.

Birmingham was selected as the host city with the event being held at the National Indoor Arena. Despite the arena holding around 13,000, the BBC decided to fill less than half of the venue with just 4,000 fans being allowed to attend.

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In the 1998 Eurovision Song Contest, the UK would finish as runners up on home soil with their entry coming from Imaani with the song Where Are You?.

The second place finish would remain Britain’s highest ranked performance at Eurovision for the next 24 years, until Sam Ryder achieved the same feat in 2022, with the song Space Man.

When did the UK last win Eurovision?

The UK last won Eurovision in 1997 with Katrina and the Waves performing the song Love Shine a Light.

The band which featured Katrina Leskanich, Kimberley Rew, Vince de la Cruz and Alex Cooper were active from 1981 until 1999 and were best known for their 1985 hit Walking on Sunshine.

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How many times has the UK won Eurovision?

The UK made its debut in the Eurovision Song Contest debut in 1957, since that time the UK has won the contest on five occasions. Here are the five winning acts from Eurovision

  • 1967, Sandie Shaw - Puppet on a String
  • 1969, Lulu - Boom Bang-a- bang (Joint winner with France,Netherlands and Spain)
  • 1976, Brotherhood of Man - Save Your Kisses for Me
  • 1981, Bucks Fizz - Making Your Mind Up
  • 1997, Katrina and the Waves - Love Shine a Light

How many times has the UK hosted Eurovision?

The UK has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest on eight occasions - more than any other country.

The UK hosted for the Netherlands in 1960, after they declined the opportunity to host the event.

They also hosted for France in 1963 due to the country’s financial difficulties, for Monaco in 1972 as they were unable to find a suitable venue and for Luxembourg in 1974 due to financial difficulties.

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Here is a full list of the occasions when the UK have hosted the Eurovision Song Contest:

  • London, 1960
  • London, 1963
  • London, 1968
  • Edinburgh, 1972
  • Brighton, 1974
  • London, 1977
  • Harrogate, 1982
  • Birmingham, 1998

Reaction to UK hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2023

Outgoing UK prime minister Boris Johnson has thrown his support behind the country hosting Eurovision 2023.

Mr Johnson posted on Twitter: “Wherever Eurovision 2023 is held, it must celebrate the country and people of Ukraine. As we are now hosts, the UK will honour that pledge directly - and put on a fantastic contest on behalf of our Ukrainian friends.”

A number of cities are expected to make a bid to host the singing contest, with London and Manchester already confirming that they plan to make an official bid.

The UK is seen to have a number of places with suitable arenas, accommodations and transport links.

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