Sam Ryder’s Eurovision single Space Man has gone to number two in the charts after his surprise success at the contest last week.
The singer, 32, was narrowly beaten to the top spot by Harry Styles’ As It Was, which secured its seventh week at number one.
Space Man becomes the highest UK Eurovision entry since Gina G’s chart-topping Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit in 1996 and also outperforms previous Eurovision winner Katrina & The Waves whose 1997 winning song Love Shine A Light peaked at number three.
The end-of-week result of second place matches Ryder’s final result at the competition in Turin, Italy, where he topped the jury vote but came runner-up to Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra after a symbolic show of public support saw them soar to first place with 631 points.
He said: “We wanted to take on this negative Eurovision stigma in the UK – this habitual loop of cynicism and telling ourselves Europe doesn’t like the UK.
“That was absolutely not the case, we don’t subscribe to that narrative whatsoever. The result gives strength to that idea. We’ve stripped away at the negativity and shone a bit of light in its place.
“Eurovision is my favourite thing in the world – I’m so stoked that I got to be a part of this story with my friends and my team.”
Speaking about chart rival Styles, he added: “I feel like what Harry stands for, as a fan of his and listening to his music, he stands for the same things that Eurovision celebrates – a freedom of expression, of inclusivity.
“A celebration of music, joy and togetherness”.
Ryder co-wrote the track with Grammy-winning songwriter Amy Wadge, who has previously worked with Ed Sheeran, and Max Wolfgang.
Wadge said: “It feels like a bit of music history. To be part of something that’s culturally shifted the public’s view on Eurovision is so lovely.
“We’ve ignored this amazing opportunity for artists and songwriters for too long.”
Securing number one for a seventh week, Styles now ties with We Don’t Talk About Bruno from the Disney film Encanto for the longest-running number one of the year so far.
Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra also gain their first UK chart entry with Stefania at number 38.
On the albums chart, Florence + the Machine score their fourth number one album with Dance Fever.
The group, fronted by singer Florence Welch, previously claimed the top spot with Lungs (2009), Ceremonials (2011) and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015).
The band’s previous record, High As Hope, peaked at number two in 2018.