Sam Ryder said he is “so stoked” after becoming the first Eurovision act to be nominated for best new artist at the Brit Awards.

The 33-year-old singer, from Maldon, who came second at last year’s contest in Turin with his track Space Man, said it is “so cool for the institution of Eurovision” that its contestants are being taken seriously in the UK again.

He is nominated alongside Kojey Radical, Mimi Webb, Rina Sawayama and Wet Leg in the category after climbing to number one with his debut album, There’s Nothing But Space, Man!, in December.

The singer, who now lives in Brightlingsea, told BBC Breakfast: “I am stoked. Honestly, it is so cool.

“I have been watching the Brits for years and singing along from the sofa and never thinking I would really get a shot at something like this. It is a real treat.”

Asked if the reputation of Eurovision is changing in the UK, he replied: “It is treated as if it is a different world so this is so cool for the future of it.

“Because overseas, for (2021 winners) Maneskin, for example, they are taking over the world, blazing the trail within the genre of rock music and heavy music.

“So it’s so cool for the institution of Eurovision as well as the team behind our project.”

Last year, the Brits moved to gender-neutral categories, merging best female and best male into best artist.

This year, the category is dominated entirely by men – with Central Cee, Fred again.., George Ezra, Harry Styles and Stormzy on the list.

But the number of female artists or all-women groups overall rose to 20.

Ryder said he is going to give Styles a “massive hug” at the event next month, adding: “He is probably going to need to bring a duffel bag for all them awards, and maybe I can pinch one.”

Styles and indie rock duo Wet Leg lead the nominations with four apiece.

Stormzy, The 1975, newcomer Cat Burns and dance music DJ Fred again.. all scored three nominations.

Artists including George Ezra, Arctic Monkeys, Nova Twins, Aitch and Dave claimed two.

Debut nominations went to K-pop girl group Blackpink, Ryder, Kentucky rapper Jack Harlow and British grime and hip-hop artist Kojey Radical.

The Brits Awards 2023 will take place on Saturday February 11, live on ITV1 and ITVX from London’s The O2 arena.