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UK’s Eurovision hopeful reveals Ed Sheeran’s words of advice

James Newman’s track My Last Breath was released last month.

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Brit Award-winner James Newman (Victor Frankowski/BBC/PA)

Brit Award-winner James Newman (Victor Frankowski/BBC/PA)

Brit Award-winner James Newman (Victor Frankowski/BBC/PA)

Ed Sheeran told the UK’s Eurovision Song Contest act that he was going to “nail it”.

Brit Award-winner James Newman, whose track My Last Breath was released last month, revealed the chart-topper’s words of advice during an interview with Graham Norton.

The singer, from Settle in North Yorkshire, is hoping to improve the UK’s prospects at the annual event after Michael Rice placed last in 2019 with Bigger Than Us.

UK music industry report
Ed Sheeran has been advising the UK’s Eurovision hopeful (Ben Birchall/PA)

Newman is a close friend of the Suffolk singer-songwriter and penned Rudimental’s Lay It All On Me which features Sheeran on vocals.

He explained how he met Sheeran through his brother, pop singer John Newman.

He told Norton: “I had written the song for Rudimental and they took it out live and they were playing it on tour when they were supporting Ed.

“I was with Ed one day and he said ‘I love that song’ and I was like ‘You should sing it’.

“He was like ‘I would love to, man’ so he came down to the studio. It was such a massive compliment that he came down and recorded my song.”

Asked how Sheeran had responded when he revealed he was going to Eurovision, Newman said: “He was like: ‘Go for it – you’re going to love it. You are going to nail it.’”

John Newman
Singer-songwriter John Newman (Scott Garfitt/PA)

Newman recalled moving to London to pursue music but said he had found himself working in bars and pubs, before eventually finding success with Rudimental’s Waiting All Night.

He was inspired to pen the Brit Award-winning song by his brother’s success with Feel The Love, which topped the charts.

He said: “I was like: ‘I need to write a song that simple and that amazing – I’m going to do the same.’

“In a restaurant I wrote the hook for Waiting All Night, which is Rudimental’s song that won a Brit Award. Me and my friend Johnny Ghostwriter, we wrote it in his little mum and dad’s house, in his little studio, sent it to Rudimental and then they were like: ‘Yeah, it is going to be our single.’

“One week I was working in a restaurant, the next week I had a number one single. It was on the radio as I was finishing my last shift.”

It comes after the European Broadcasting Union, which produces Eurovision, cast doubt on whether the event would go ahead due to the spread of coronavirus across Europe.

A statement from the EBU said it was “closely monitoring” the situation and taking “all necessary health and safety precautions in line with WHO and national authority guidelines”.

It continued: “We will continue to follow developments across Europe and are looking at various possible scenarios together with the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 host broadcasters NPO, NOS and AVROTROS.

“However, it is currently too early to comment on these scenarios as they depend on developments in the coming months. For now, we are proceeding with our planning for the event in Rotterdam and liaising with the relevant authorities.”

PA Media