Edinburgh should host Eurovision 2023, says Lothian Tory MSP

Next year’s Eurovision Song Contest should be held in Edinburgh if the UK is to host the event, Lothian Tory MSP Miles Briggs has said.

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

The annual extravaganza is usually staged in the country which won the previous year, but organisers have decided it would be impossible to have it in war-torn Ukraine and said the UK might hold it instead.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon suggested Glasgow, posting on social media: “We wish @Eurovision could be in Ukraine but understand that in circumstances this isn’t possible. However, I can think of a perfect venue on banks of the River Clyde!!”

And Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar tweeted: “I agree with @NicolaSturgeon on this. Wish the circumstances weren't so, but for an alternate venue, our fantastic city would host a #Eurovision to remember. Glasgow would be ready with open arms.”

Green MSP Ross Greer also endorsed the idea.

However Mr Briggs said Eurovision 2023 should come to the Capital, pointing out Edinburgh had previously hosted the contest 50 years ago and highlighting the city’s links with Kyiv.

He said: "It is understandable that sadly Ukraine cannot plan to host Eurovision 2023. Edinburgh successfully hosted the 17th Eurovision Song Contest in 1972.

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Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine celebrates after winning the Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest in May. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

“Edinburgh and Kyiv have been sister cities for over 30 years and this would be the perfect UK city to host the 2023 contest.

“I have written to Nadine Dorries, UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC, to make the positive case for consideration to be given to Edinburgh hosting Eurovision 2023.”

The staging of the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest in Edinburgh also came after the winning country was unable to host the event. The 1971 winner, Monaco, found it could not provide a venue and the responsibility fell to the BBC, which chose Edinburgh, the first time a location outside of London had been selected for a UK final.

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It took place at the Usher Hall. Internationally renowned Scottish ballet dancer Moira Shearer was chosen to present it and the commentary was provided in the distinctive tones of actor Tom Fleming.

The New Seekers, representing the United Kingdom, make their way to the Usher Hall for the Eurovision Contest 1972.

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