Video: Local lad already favourite to win the X Factor

THE BOOKIES have made him favourite to win this year’s The X Factor but talented Essex singer Matt Cardle has said he is not getting carried away with his popularity.

The 27-year-old painter and decorator has been wowing the judges and audiences on the TV show with his soulful voice and is on the verge of making it through to the live finals.

It is the second year running that Essex has provided a would-be star in The X Factor, with Matt following on from the success of Witham’s Olly Murs, who finished runner-up and went on to have a No. 1 hit single with Please Don’t Let Me Go.

Matt, who is the lead singer of a band called Seven Summers, has been out to pop star and X Factor judge Dannii Minogue’s house in Australia with the other “boys” to try to sing his way into the final.

He said the remaining 32 acts had been living in “a bit of a bubble” although he knew of the massive support he was getting from thousands of people on Facebook.

“It’s insane – to think I would not get very far through to being in the position I am in now but things change all the time, especially at such an early stage.”

Matt, who lives at home with his parents in Little Maplestead, near Halstead, said he initially had reservations about entering the talent show, saying “it’s really not my bag”.

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However, a friend sent footage of him through to the show’s internet auditions, which were introduced this year, meaning he was even able to avoid queueing up among thousands of other wannabes.

“I was not sure if it was what I should be doing, but I went along for a laugh and things have progressed from there.

“It has not really sunk in. It has been a bit of a roller-coaster but I am making the most of it and I now feel just humble to be a part of it.”

Matt said he was now chasing the dream of becoming a recording artist and travelling the world playing to packed venues. “The closer you get to it, the more you want it,” he added.

If the former Stoke College pupil does go on to play packed arenas with The X Factor it will be a far cry from the intimate gigs he has been playing at local pubs in recent years. Seven Summers is currently “on hold” whilst Matt’s X Factor journey unfolds.

“Bands are not getting signed – it’s ridiculous – you have to have made it before a record company is interested.

“This is my shot at it right now, though,” he said.

Last night Matt was 3/1 with most bookmakers to win the seventh series of the TV show.