Video & Gallery: X Factor winner Matt Cardle returns to old school Stoke College

X FACTOR winner Matt Cardle thrilled pupils when he returned to his old school to see the next generation of musical talent and perform a special outdoor gig.

Cardle, 28, visited Stoke College in Stoke-by-Nayland today as part of the school’s arts week.

The talent show contestant from Little Maplestead turned judge as three students took turns to perform songs for him.

“The talent that this school produces is amazing,” said Matt. “I was impressed by all the performances. The music teacher, Adrian Marple, is very enthusiastic which is great. It’s a breeding ground for good musicians.

“It’s brilliant to be back here – at the school where I spent some of the best years of my life – and to get out of London for a while. I spend all my time looking at the inside of cabs and studios at the moment.”


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Despite all the success and fame which comes with winning the X Factor, Matt says that he has managed to keep his feet on the ground.

“I don’t think I’ve changed at all,” he said. “I’ve had to grow up a lot these last few months. When a lot of people are saying things about you some of it’s going to be nasty, but you’ve just got to ignore it.

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“I don’t Google myself. Well, sometimes I do – if I’ve come out of a club and someone says you might want to have a look online. Then I can see what happened on the night out!

“I’ve still got the same mates – not that I’ve been able to see them recently, I’ve spent so much time in the studio.”

Of his forthcoming debut album, he added: “I’ve been trying to make it in the music business for 12 years, but I haven’t made it yet. I’ve got my foot in the door. I’ve got the opportunity to make an album and it’s going to be awesome.

“The album has been going really well. It’s where I want it to be. We’ve done some really good songs – all very real, nothing airy fairy.

“We’ve got a number of songs which could be singles. We’ve got options, we just need to work out which one is right.”

The first single from his album is expected out in August, with the album following later this year.

Pupil Cameron Scorer played the keyboard and sang Mika’s Any Other World for Cardle along with friend Harry Greene, who played bass.

Cameron said afterwards: “It was nerve-wracking but I’m glad we played in front of him. It went well. He gave some very good comments.”

Matt’s parents David and Jenny Cardle said their son “had not changed in the slightest” since winning the competition. Although Mr Cardle did say that he had to follow Matt on Twitter to find out what he is doing.

“The public have been so kind to him he really appreciates it,” said Mrs Cardle. “I know he wants to do more gigs in the local area but he’s been so busy at the moment. His life is run by a management team.”

Mr Cardle added: “Matt loves coming back to the school. He wanted to show the kids that fame is a side issue. The main this is he’s wanted this all his life and he’s worked hard for it.

“We’ve heard snippets of the new music and it sounds very good, but it’s all hush hush at the moment.”

Adrian Marple, the school’s music teacher, said: “It’s very exciting to have him back. All the students followed him through the competition. He works really hard at his music and he set a great example.”

Matt performed his version of Paparazzi and Knights in White Satin before signing autographs for the students.

- Check this website later today for pictures of Matt Cardle’s visit.

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