Michael Rice at Eurovision: Town's backing for Hartlepool singer ahead of grand final

There is now just one day to wait before Hartlepool's Michael Rice takes to the stage for the UK at this year's Eurovision Song Contest.

Michael will perform his track Bigger Than Us at the contest's live final, which starts on Saturday at 8pm.

Michael Rice performs his song Bigger Than Us on the Graham Norton Show ahead of Eurovision. Picture: PA.

Michael Rice performs his song Bigger Than Us on the Graham Norton Show ahead of Eurovision. Picture: PA.

Finding fame in 2018 on the BBC's All Together Now talent show, Michael has been getting messages of support from Hartlepool and across the country.

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Presenter Graham Norton, who fronts the BBC's coverage of the contest, was one of those backing the Hartlepool singer in his bid for Eurovision glory.

Ahead of the contest, he said: "I think the song is strong but what makes it really stand out is Michael's voice and personality.

Michael performs in Hartlepool after winning BBC's All Together Now.

Michael performs in Hartlepool after winning BBC's All Together Now.

"To those that say we can never win I would remind them of Portugal, Israel, Austria, Germany, all recent winners and countries that never gave up though many said they should.

"Keep the faith, United Kingdom."

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The Hartlepool community has united in sending its own messages of good luck to Michael ahead of his performance.

Hartlepool is behind you Michael.

Hartlepool is behind you Michael.

Here are some of your messages of support for Michael Rice from the Hartlepool Mail Facebook page:

Roy Bastow: "We are having a party in Hartlepool go Michael the town is behind you, do not worry where you come, you are a celeb and we are so proud of you mate. Come on mate you can do it this town is proud of you."

Christine Mincher: "Good luck Michael from all us Monkey Hangers in South Africa."

Linda Scanlon: "Good luck to you Michael."

Kingsley Tritschler: "He's going to smash it."

Read more: Eurovision entry Michael Rice has already made town proud

Elizabeth Arnell: "Best of luck, Michael will be rooting for you, from Hartlepool."

Alma Baxter: "Good luck Michael, knock’em dead."

Debi Cooper: "Good luck Michael. We're all behind you."

Wendy Reichmuth: "He deserves to win such a fab song love it."

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Marie Richardson: "He’s brill! I used to teach him at primary school!"

Carol Docherty: "Fantastic."