Eurovision IN reports that BBC plans to return to Junior Eurovision in 2023, 20 years after the first competition was held.
The rumors about the United Kingdom returning to Junior Eurovision for the first time since 2005 have been brewing since the press conference, which was held on December 17, 2021, by France TV and the EBU, when the Junior Eurovision Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl stated that the BBC was “close to joining” the contest.
Eurovision IN reports today that BBC is looking to return in 2023, the year marking the 20th anniversary of the first Contest, in which the United Kingdom did participate.
Currently, four of the Big Five participate in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, these being France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The United Kingdom currently does not participate in the contest, however, they did take part from 2003-2005 with the broadcaster ITV.
ITV withdrew from the contest following low viewing figures from the 2005 contest. Since their withdrawal, only one other broadcaster has shown an interest in participating in the contest. In 2008 Welsh broadcaster S4C looked into taking part in the competition in Cyprus. Wales would go on to debut at Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018, but withdrew in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is yet to return.
The return of the United Kingdom would mean the nations which make up the United Kingdom such as Scotland or Wales would be unable to participate in the event as the entire United Kingdom has priority according to EBU.
Image Source: Thomas Hanses | Source: Eurovision IN