Ed Sheeran in virtual chat with Co Down craftsman responsible for his guitar range

Ed Sheeran has made a rare appearance to share a virtual chat with Co Down guitar maker George Lowden as they mark a two-year partnership.

The Galway Girl singer released an interview last week and launched a competition with two signed guitars up for grabs.

It comes after the songwriter's surprise release of track Afterglow in December following a hiatus due to the birth of his daughter.

Sheeran was so pleased with how the Lowden performed on the track that he dropped in for a video chat with his friend who has built a reputation making the musical instruments.

"I've been playing the other one you gave me in the Afterglow video non-stop," Ed tells George. “They're just so great."

"There were two videos, both of those guitars, the one in the studio and the video that was released as the official video," George responds.

Ed says: "Oh yeah well the one in the studio is my gig one. The one that has all the scratches in it!"

George Lowden is a master craftsman whose guitars are sought-after the world over and they are all handmade in his Co Down workshop.

Sheeran has been a big fan since childhood but their partnership began thanks to Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody, who gifted him his first Lowden guitar.

"It began five or six years ago with Gary Lightbody asking me to make a guitar for Ed as a present," George told UTV News.

"After that Ed came down to the factory when he was doing his concert in Odyssey and so he spent a day down at the factory. After that we just kept communicating, he came up with some ideas he wanted me to work on so it just developed from there."

Not every celebrity casually pops up online to talk about guitars but for the singer and the craftsman, it's all about harmony.

The competition closes on Friday and entries can made on the YouTube video below.