Eurovision 2023: BBC appoints Senior Core Team for Liverpool

by Sanjay (Sergio) Jiandani 786 views

The BBC has unveiled the Senior Core Team for the forthcoming 2023 Eurovision Song Contest scheduled to be held in Liverpool.

Preparations have kicked off in the United Kingdom for the forthcoming 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. The BBC is working from strength to strength to showcase an extraordinary and entertaining competition.

The Eurovision 2023 Senior Core Team

  • Martin Green- Head of Eurovision 2023 Senior Team
  • Rachel Ashdown- Lead Commissioner for BBC at Eurovision 2023
  • Andrew Cartmell– Executive Producer- Eurovision 2023
  • Lee Smithhurst– Head of Show- Eurovision 2023
  • Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen – Head of Contest – Eurovision 2023
  • James O’Brien–  Executive In Charge of Production- Eurovision 2023

Familiar Eurovision faces

  • Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen from the Netherlands has great experience when it comes to Eurovision as he has been the Head of Contest for the 2021 and 2022 Eurovision Song Contest editions in Rotterdam and Turin respectively.
  • Andrew Cartmell has been part of the UK’s Eurovision Delegation for many years and has served as the British Head of Delegation recently.
  • Rachel Ashdown has been part of the EBU’s Reference Group from 2019-2021 and has been responsible for the BBC’s Eurovision coverage since 2018.
  • Lee Smithurst was the UK’s Assistant Head of Delegation at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Turin.

The BBC has released the following statement:

Martin Green will be responsible for leading this milestone event in UK broadcasting history and overseeing all aspects of ESC23. The 67th Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Liverpool and the BBC is committed to delivering a unique event which recognises and celebrates Ukraine’s victory, as well as UK creativity. 

Martin will lead a team to create, plan and deliver this large-scale, complex and special event. As host broadcaster the BBC will work in partnership with the European Broadcasting Union,  Liverpool as host city and other external partners to deliver The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 to an audience of over one hundred million across the world, involving thousands of people, hundreds of delegates and multiple acts. Martin is an accomplished leader with over twenty years of experience in major global events. Most recently the Chief Creative Officer of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games where he delivered the opening and closing ceremonies and a major cultural programme, and Chief Creative Officer of Unboxed: Creativity in the UK. Prior to that he was CEO of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, a ground-breaking world class arts festival that reinvigorated the city; as well as Head of Ceremonies for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Rachel Ashdown has been confirmed as the Lead Commissioner for the BBC on Eurovision 2023. She will work with BBC Studios, who will produce the three live shows (the two Semi-Finals and the Grand Final), on the overall look and tone of the show and is responsible for commissioning other programming to run across the BBC and work with the independent production companies on their delivery. This will include the key handover and allocation draw and other ESC based shows in the weeks leading up to the event. Rachel has been the Commissioner for all Eurovision Song Contest Coverage on the BBC since 2018 and she subsequently joined the Reference group, the EBU’s Eurovision Song Contest Governing body, for the 2019- 2021 Editions.

Leading the BBC Studios team Andrew Cartmell has been appointed Executive Producer of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 and will take overall responsibility for the Semi-Finals and the Grand Final. Andrew has more than a decade’s experience as an Executive Producer making entertainment shows and large scale live events for the likes of BBC Studios, Done & Dusted, and Hungry Bear Media. He was BBC’s Eurovision Head of Delegation for the UK in Turin earlier this year. Past credits include the Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony, Children in Need & Sport Relief.

Lee Smithurst joins the BBC Studios team as Head of Show for Eurovision 2023. As Head of Show he will be responsible for the editorial content and take the creative lead for the three live shows. Lee was Assistant Head of Delegation for the BBC in Turin this year, and will be Executive Producer and Head of Delegation for the United Kingdom at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Yerevan, Armenia in December. Lee’s recent credits include I Can See Your Voice, Kylie Minogue’s Secret Night and Soccer Aid.

Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen has been re-appointed as Head of Contest, the role he successfully delivered at the 2021 & 2022 Eurovision Song Contests in Rotterdam and Turin. Twan will have specific responsibility working with the national delegations to deliver the creative, on stage ambitions of their artists. Twan is a hugely experienced television producer in The Netherlands, and has been Editor in Chief on many programmes and live events.

James O’Brien joins BBC Studios as the Executive in Charge of Production. James comes to Eurovision with huge experience working on large scale events such as MTV Europe Music Awards, the London 2012 Olympics and this year’s Commonwealth Games. James will oversee a team that is responsible for the technical delivery of both the Eurovision live shows and broadcast, and all other elements within the venue precinct.

Kate Phillips BBC’s Director of Uncripted says:

Martin is an inspirational leader whose skills and passion for Eurovision will be a winning combination and make him the perfect ambassador for the BBC.  

His impressive track record in delivering major events speaks for itself. He is brilliant at bringing people together and will galvanise our partners to increase the value to licence fee payers as well as the wider economic benefits of hosting the event in the UK. Martin, and the highly experienced team we’ve announced today, will ensure 2023 is the most exciting, creative and innovative Eurovision ever.

Source: BBC/EBU
Photo credit: BBC/EBU