While the joint hosting for Eurovision 2023 between winner Ukraine and runner-up U.K. is a blessing for those who want to attend the music competition safely, it also means there are a lot of cooks in this kitchen. Most of those joint production groups are behind the scenes, so viewers aren't as aware of the negotiations between the two countries. However, there's one place it will be obvious: the giant hosting and presenter lineup. In most years, the lineup of presenters and hosts for the host country is somewhere between three and five, depending on the circumstances. But this year, the joint ceremony is going all out with ten hosts and presenters all told.
Some of this handing over the reigns to those who have paid their dues. Graham Norton, for example, has been the Grand Doyen of Eurovision for U.K. viewers as the commentary host for the Grand Finale since 2009. Anyone who used to VPN Eurovision via the BBC back in the day is familiar with his commentary. He'll be stepping up to hosting from the stage for the first time, joined by Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina, British actor Hannah Waddingham, and U.K. TV presenter Alesha Dixon. There will also be Liverpudlian TV presenters Sam Quek and Claire Sweeney, who will champion their hometown.
Timur Miroshnychenko has been the Graham Norton of UA: PBC since 2007 and hosted the last time contest came to Ukraine in 2017. He'll be stepping in as the "Eurovision Correspondent," be the main commentator on the official YouTube broadcast, and front the Opening Ceremony with Quek. Radio DJ Scott Mills has been on commentary for the Semi-Finals since 2011, Mel Giedroyc, who Americans know best from the early years of The Great British Baking Show, was his partner from 2015-2018, and Rylan took over that position from her in 2018. Scott and Rylan will remain the commentary hosts for the semis, while Mel will bump up to Norton's usual chair for the Grand Final.
The timing of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest also abuts the King’s Coronation Weekend, turning the second week of May into a massive TV celebration, as pointed out by Kate Phillips, BBC’s Director of Unscripted, who said in the press release, “It will be a remarkable moment for the BBC to deliver two huge pinnacles in this year’s broadcasting calendar, the King’s Coronation and Eurovision, within the same week.”
The Eurovision 2023 content will include 37 participating countries, 21 of which have chosen their artists by professional jury or popular vote. The final countries to decide by popular vote on March 11, so the next major announcement will be the full lineup of performers on March 12, 2023. The opening and interval acts are not expected to be announced until April.
A reminder that 2023 will mark the most significant mass voting change in the contest’s history since the addition of Eastern European competitions in the early 1990s. The Semi-Finals will be a strict popular vote but only open to those countries competing, and the Big Five assigned to their group. And for the first time, viewers from non-competing countries, including China and the U.S., will be allowed to vote in the Grand Final. The popular vote makes up fifty percent of the voting block, with professional juries from every competing country making up the other half.
The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will stream live at 8 p.m. BT/3 p.m. ET/12 noon PT on Peacock; the Semi-Finals will occur on Tuesday, May 9, and Thursday, May 11; the Grand Final on Saturday, May 13, 2023.