Matt Cardle’s come a long way since the likely lad with the shy smile stole hearts – and won votes – in the most watched series of X Factor ever.
He was 27 back then, when 19.1m viewers followed his progress. He also formed an enduring friendship with fellow contestant Blackpool-born Aiden Grimshaw.
I’m really looking forward to it. I feel great. It’s so close to the tour that when the offer came through we got involved. It’s going to be amazing
“You go and grow with it,” he admits. “Success isn’t something that just happens overnight. I had a lot of life experience when I did X Factor – 15 years on the circuit.
“It’s amazing when it happens and I feel sorry for those who haven’t got that kind of background and get overwhelmed by it all.”
He’s delighted to be playing Lytham Festival on Thursday – same night as Noel Gallagher’s Flying Birds, Noel at Lytham Green, Matt at Lowther Pavilion.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I feel great. It’s so close to the tour that when the offer came through we got involved. It’s going to be amazing.”
Matt’s own hits include When We Collide, Run For Your Life, Loving You (with Spice Girl Mel C) and his X Factor showstopper The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
He’s going to be performing material from his top three albums Letters, The Fire and Porcelain, along with songs from his forthcoming release.
His four-octave vocal range won him the lead role alongside Beverley Knight in Memphis the Musical in London, where he won Best West End Debut award.
He admits he was in ‘totally in awe’ of Knight. Now he calls her his soul sister: “When you do a show like that, five months working in a play about how much you love each other, you can’t help but become friends. There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe her voice. She is insanely talented, possesses a fantastic voice, and she helped me through that process too.”
His music has changed: “I’m on with album four now. The previous were all a bit indie. Now it’s quite electro. A brave move on all fronts.
“I’m adventurous enough to give it a go. We’ve got amazing writing, production talent.
“You move and grow. When you love what you do and wake up and are excited to go to the studio or on tour or another show there’s no feeling like it.”