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Sam Ryder - lives in Brightlingsea

Brightlingsea has reason to cheer Eurovision's Sam Ryder

Not a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest? Make an exception this year – because UK entry Sam Ryder has a home in Brightlingsea!

Sam's a Tik Tok sensation, with 12 million followers and 100 million likes. His Eurovision entry, Space Man, is widely touted as the best chance the UK has had for many a year to avoid being awarded 'nil points'  by the contest's judges.

At the time of writing, bookmakers were giving him a 6/1 chance of winning – putting him second after Ukrainian favourites Kalush Orchestra.

Essex-born Sam, 32, hails from Maldon, but lives in Brightlingsea – we're not saying where for obvious reasons – and has been a musician since 2009. He toured with Canadian and American bands, but a bid for solo stardom faltered until the pandemic struck.

In March 2020 he began posting cover versions of hit songs on Tik Tok – he's currently the most followed UK musician on the platform – eventually catching the attention of musicians including Sia, Elton John, Justin Bieber and Alicia Keys and gaining a recording contract with Parlophone. His debut EP, released last year, has been streamed over 100 million times.

Sam co-wrote his Eurovision entry with Grammy winning songwriter Amy Wadge, who's written for Ed Sheeran, and Max Wolfgang. You can see a semi-final performance of his song here – and a BBC documentary, about his journey to the Turin contest, here. Come on Sam!

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