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"I had been making music for about 14 years by that point, and hadn't got anywhere. And I knew that if X Factor didn't work for me, I was fucked."He sang Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good", prompting Cowell to remark afterwards, "Matt, I like you very, very much." With that sort of endorsement, he sailed through "boot camp", then on to the live shows and into the final 10, his sense of wariness perpetuated throughout."I knew that if I ended up going out at an early stage, or even if I finished third or fourth, that would be it for me. I crashed out on the sofa the moment I walked in the front door.It would be seen as a kind of death in the industry. In a way, I feel a bit cheeky, but it did get me where I wanted to be."By Christmas 2010, Cardle was all over television and radio, and splashed across the red-tops. My mum threw a duvet over me, and left me to it."He recovered in time for New Year's Eve, and decided to spend it with friends in Newcastle.One year on from that 'X Factor' win, the pop star is set to release his first album – but not everyone has had such kind things to say.
After an hour, a female police officer arrived to escort him to safety, but only on the condition that she, too, could get a photo with him."The whole fame thing is scary," he says. He brought a hand to his face, convinced he had a nosebleed. It all comes drenched in the kind of over-production typical of any singing-show graduate, but impresses through the power of Cardle's voice alone.He has admitted he enjoys getting fake tanned His parents own a logistics consultancy firm called Frazer-Nash Associates, but his father says music is in the genes.‘I was a chorister for 12 years while my father was a gifted amateur singer,’ says David, 60.Matt Cardle, it quickly became evident to older viewers, was not average X Factor fare: he was neither precociously young (at 27), nor preternaturally irritating; he didn't look particularly malleable nor anybody's – least of all Simon Cowell's – idea of an obvious successor to Leona Lewis.When he first walked nervously out on to that reality-show stage last autumn, dressed in knackered k jeans and paint-flecked boots, his chin unshaven, his hair hiding beneath a scruffy cap, he described himself to the judges as "a bum", and seemed all too acutely aware of what he was laying on the line here."Oh, I felt like I was risking everything," he says today, hands clasped together as though recalling his anxiety.