Dirty laundry, bleached bumholes and Reading Uni: the secrets behind Ed Sheeran’s success

On the eve of a new documentary, what can we learn about the man behind the music?

Like Brexit, Dr Alex off Love Island and suffocating dread, Ed Sheeran is bloody everywhere. Not only is his current album ÷ (AKA Divide, released in March 2017) still in the upper reaches of the chart, but his songwriting-for-hire sideline doesn’t show any signs of stopping. After writing hits for the likes of Justin Bieber, 1D and Rita Ora, he has recently co-penned Eastside by Benny Blanco, Summer On You for US boyband PrettyMuch, and Because, the sonic equivalent of a damp flannel, for the thankfully departing Boyzone. Meanwhile, 2002, his co-write with Anne-Marie, is still pinging around the UK Top 40 more than four months after its release.

Later this week, lucky Apple Music users will be able to watch Songwriter, an “intimate” (ie it was filmed by his cousin) documentary that, as the name implies, will focus on the Galway Girl creator’s increasingly influential penmanship. In fact, the trailer teases an extended section focused solely on the creation of that ill-judged update on B*Witched’s C’est La Vie, with Sheeran teasing out the song’s chorus wearing a Hooters T-shirt. At one point, high on the fumes of creativity, he gestures to someone off screen and utters the words no one wants to hear: “Could you just get on the fiddle?”

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