X Factor winner Matt Cardle has surprised fans by making a very exciting announcement – the singer is joining the cast of hit West End show Strictly Ballroom The Musical! The 35-year-old revealed the surprising news on Friday by sharing a picture of him dressed in character, as band leader Wally Strand, on his Instagram. "I'm so excited to be returning to the West End and to be joining the cast of @strictlyballroomthemusical to play the part of Wally Strand from July 31," he wrote alongside the snap.
He continued telling his more than 21,000 followers: "It's so rare that a role comes around that you can put so much of your own stamp on. I have seen the show and it’s absolutely incredible. @bazluhrmann is an utter genius, as is @drewmconie. To have the opportunity to sing all these huge songs every night is a real honour. I have been a fan of @willyoungofficial for many years and he is so amazing as Wally, they are certainly big shoes to fill. Who’s coming? My 8 week run will end on Sept 22nd xx."
Matt Cardle will be filling in the shoes for another former X Factor star, Will Young, who has been portraying the same character since last year.
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Matt first came to the public's attention when he won The X Factor in 2010, the year the TV phenomenon series enjoyed its highest-ever ratings. His debut single When We Collide was Christmas number one just weeks after the show's final. Since then, Matt has now sold over two million albums, had three Top 10 albums and played five sold-out UK tours. Matt’s most recent album Time To Be Alive was released by Sony earlier this year and features his latest single I'm Not Letting Go Yet and the huge club hit Desire.
In 2015 he triumphed in a whole new arena when he made his West End debut, playing the lead role of Huey Calhoun in Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Starring alongside the legendary Beverley Knight, Matt won the Best West End Debut award.