SINGING star Sam Ryder has said he just had to "trust in everything" as he took to the stage during the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The singer and TikTok star, 32, came second only behind the act from Ukraine to give the UK its best result in 20 years in the singing competition.

The annual event, held this year in Turin, Italy, was won by Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra.

Sam, from Maldon, rose to fame during lockdown with his cover songs on TikTok which caught the attention of stars including Justin Bieber.

Before social media stardom, he ran an organic juice bar in Coggeshall, Lone Wolves Organics, with his girlfriend, Lois Gaskin-Barber.

He is also a former Colchester Institute music technology student.

Ryder was 22nd to perform on Saturday night out of the 25 finalists with his song Space Man, and told BBC Radio 2 waiting to perform went "quite quickly" on the night.

Read more >>> Maldon singer Sam feels 'fantastic' as he arrives home after Eurovision success

He added: “I don't know just I felt so much, just encouragement and support and love from home.

“And not just home, but in the Eurovision community in general, because there's so much love, sitting in that arena is like being in a church, it is just incredible.

“I can't explain it, and I can't even begin to do it justice, the feeling that you have when you're there.

“But going on that stage, it just felt like, just trust in everything.

“Trust in the years that you've been singing and enjoying singing and music and take it all in.”

He landed at London's Heathrow Airport on Sunday wearing a pink Kalush Orchestra hat, a celebratory nod to this year's Ukrainian winners.

Carrying a champagne-shaped balloon and a Union Jack flag, Ryder said he was feeling "fantastic" as he paused to take selfies and chat to fans who had waited for his arrival.

He said: "It's just lovely to come home and feel that joy and love we've felt the whole time, though I am tired now - just want to focus on having a nice sleep tonight."