Matt Cardle: Winning X Factor made me famous for wrong reason

He said people knew him for the show and not for his music.

Press Association
Last updated: 7 August 2018 - 9.30pm

Former X Factor winner Matt Cardle has said that when he won the ITV show he was famous “for the wrong reason”.

The singer said he had to work to prove himself so that he was known for more than just his appearance on television.

He told the Press Association: “So many people knew about me for maybe the wrong reason at the time. ‘Just because he’s won the show, great, but where is his album? I want to hear some music from him.’

“So that is when you have to start getting to work.”

The X Factor Finalists Press Conference – London
Matt Cardle with his X Factor mentor Danni Minogue (Yui Mok/PA)

Asked if he thought being famous for winning the show really was for the wrong reason, he said: “For an artist, yeah it is. I don’t like calling myself an artist but having four albums out I can’t deny myself that.

“But at the start everybody knew my name just because they watched the show. That is great, but do you know my albums? That is where the work starts.”

Cardle, who is returning to the West End to take over the role of bandleader Wally Strand from Will Young in Strictly Ballroom The Musical, said some of the opportunities he initially received were just because he had won the show.

He said: “The hardest learning curve was how to steady myself after something as huge as X Factor and winning it in a year that was so big, it was just unprecedented numbers.

“Nineteen million people watched the final, that is just mad and it was just weird so every opportunity for every single last thing fell in my lap and that was because of the show.

“Then to carve out my career and really see what opportunities are real and what aren’t and are just because you’ve won a huge talent show, that was something to really steady myself with.”

Discussing the new judging line-up for the upcoming series, which will see Louis Tomlinson, Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Williams join Simon Cowell on the panel following the departure of regular presence Louis Walsh, he said: “Hasn’t it had a makeover every year since? No Louis, that is a make-under! I love Louis Walsh.”

He added: “If Louis (Tomlinson) doesn’t have the bands, then that would be silly.

“Surely Louis should get the bands because if there is anybody who knows how to give solid experienced advice on being in the biggest band in the world, it’s Louis.

“I think he would really bring something to the table in that sense.

“To be fair I haven’t been keeping up with it as much, not because I don’t like it or anything like that, I have just been so busy recently and last year I happened to have missed it.

“It’s still a great show, it will always be a great show, they have switched it up a few times now.

“It does feel like the biggest shake-up they have had, I give you that, but then Gary Barlow replacing Simon felt like the biggest shake-up.

“Simon wasn’t there, that is massive for his show. He had bigger things to be getting on with in America at the time.

“With Robbie, if there is anyone who is going to give someone advice about the industry it’s Robbie Williams.

“The guy is a hero and a legend and from what I gather a really nice guy.”

Of his return to the West End after his 2015 debut in Memphis, he said: “Wally is whoever plays him essentially.

“I was racking my brains to start with, with regards to how I’m going to play this character and the more I got into it I realised it was just me with an Aussie accent.

“Obviously there are certain emotional elements with him with regards to how he feels about the story he’s telling, but that is just my take on how I feel about the characters.”

Cardle will appear in Strictly Ballroom The Musical at the Piccadilly Theatre for another seven weeks, with press night on August 8.

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