Ukraine warned over Eurovision after producers quit

The producers of the Eurovision Song Contest have issued a reminder to the Ukrainian organisers of this year’s event to stick “to the timeline” after a number of top level staff quit.

A reported 21 members of the Ukraine Public Broadcaster (UA:PBC), including two executive producers, the event manager and head of security, resigned over “staffing matters”, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) said.

The EBU, which founded the event in 1956, released a statement thanking those for their work and reiterated that the event would take place in Kiev in May.

It said: “The group felt they were not able to continue work on the project owing to staffing matters at UA:PBC, which the EBU cannot fully comment on.

“The team have been instrumental in the planning for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and we thank them for their hard work.

“We have reiterated to UA:PBC the importance of a speedy and efficient implementation of plans already agreed, despite staff changes, and that we stick to the timeline and milestones that have been established and approved by the reference group to ensure a successful contest in May.”

Among those who quit were executive producers Oleksandr Kharebin and Victoria Romanova and commercial director Iryna Asman.

Lucie Jones will be the UK’s entry to the competition this year (Matt Burlem/PA)

Last year, Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song 1944 performed by Jamala.

Britain will be represented by former X Factor contestant Lucie Jones in this year’s contest after she saw off five other former hopefuls from the ITV show in a BBC one-off competition.

She won the slot with a rendition of her song Never Give Up On You during the live voting programme in January.

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