‘Just brilliant’: Sam Ryder praised for ‘spectacular’ New Year’s Eve BBC show

Sam Ryder has started 2023 in a flurry of praise after headlining the BBC’s New Year celebrations.

Last year’s UK Eurovision entry, who finished in second place, brought in 2023 by hosting the channel’s official New Year’s Eve party.

Sam Ryder Rocks New Year’s Eve featured Ryder singing a variety of crowd-pleasers in front of a studio audience, highlights of which included a Queen medley, a cover of Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul” with House Gospel Choir, and a selection of Taylor Swift songs.

Elsewhere in the programme, the performer was joined by fellow music stars Melanie C, Sigrid and Justin Hawkins of The Darkness.

Ryder also sang his own original songs, including Eurovision song “Space Man” and “All the Way Over”.

Viewers were quick to compliment Ryder’s performance and showmanship, with plenty naming him as a fittingly joyful figure to kickstart everyone’s year.

“Can we have Sam Ryder do NYE every year?” one viewer asked on Twitter, adding: “He’s bloody brilliant, amazing set list, obviously has cracking music taste and it’s the purest level of joy you need going into a new year.”

Another fan expressed her hopes for a Ryder return, writing: “Sorry this Sam Ryder show is genuinely the best new year show we’ve ever had? I need him to do this every weekend?”

“Whoever decided Sam Ryder should do the New Year’s Eve show deserves a medal. Just brilliant,” added another.

Sam Ryder and Justin Hawkins (BBC/Kieron McCarron)
Sam Ryder and Justin Hawkins (BBC/Kieron McCarron)

“If anybody ever ‘owned a stage’ it was Sam Ryder tonight. Absolutely spectacular. Take a bow Sam,” wrote another fan.

Ryder and Hawkins’ rendition of The Darkness’s 2003 hit “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” was another moment that received particularly high praise for both its high energy and the pair’s musical talents.

“Sam Ryder is singing I believe in a thing called love with Justin Hawkins on the BBC and honestly 2023 already peaked!” claimed one viewer, while another said: “The sheer delight on Sam Ryder’s face as he sings I believe in a thing called love with Justin Hawkins is magical.”

The support from the public wasn’t lost on Ryder, who shared a message of gratitude on social media soon after the show.

“AND THAT’S 2022 WRAPPED!” he wrote as a caption to a picture of him performing with Hawkins. “Blown away by your support of our NYE show, absolutely humbled, thank you all SO flippin’ much!”