Ed Sheeran is named best British male and breakthrough act at the Brit Awards
Years of sleeping on friends' sofas while he honed his talents finally paid off for Suffolk singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran tonight, with a double success at the Brit Awards.
The 21-year-old, from Framlingham, won the 2008 Next Big Thing in Norwich, the musical showcase founded by the EDP and the Evening News.
Now he receives management advice from Sir Elton John and counts Hollywood star Jamie Foxx among his fans.
Last night he claimed success in the British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act categories at the prestigious awards ceremony at London's O2 Arena - sharing the spotlight with global superstar Adele, who was named best British female.
He beat acts such as Noel Gallagher, James Morrison and Professor Green to the title of best British male.
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The red-haired singer - who played his hit Lego House at the ceremony - said: 'I honestly didn't think I'd get this one, so I'd just like to say thanks to my family, my friends, my fans, every single promoter that's ever booked me, every single radio DJ that's every played me and my label.'
The Suffolk musician made a name for himself gigging on the Norwich music circuit and since then he has enjoyed a succession of profile-raising EPs, and his No 1 debut album '+' released last September has been a continuous fixture in the album charts and returned to the No 1 position at the beginning of 2012.
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The double success caps an incredible run of success for Sheeran, who celebrated his 21st birthday last week and has had a string of top five hits and a number one selling album.
He had also been nominated for best British album and was one of 10 acts in contention for best British single - up against the likes of Noel Gallagher, Coldplay, Adele, Jessie J and the hotly tipped Emeli Sande.
It was Adele's 21 which claimed best British album however and One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful which claimed the best single.
Meanwhile, a Norwich poet who has previously penned a poem for Jarvis Cocker served up made-to-order poems for a host of celebrities at the awards show.
Tim Clare and his team of poets took their Poetry Takeaway to the Brits. Set up 18 months ago, the Poetry Takeaway is run from a converted burger van and sees Mr Clare and his fellow 'poetry chefs' concoct poems on any given subject matter within 10 minutes.
The free poems are written to order, performed by the poet and then the recipient gets to take away their poem in a takeaway box.