Wednesday, December 8, 2010

X Factor favourite Matt Cardle returns to the Essex pub he used to play in on a Saturday night... but things are a bit different now

By Sarah Bull

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Overwhelmed: Matt Cardle appeared stunned by the amount of support he received from fans at The Five Bells in Colne Engaine, Essex, as he arrived today with mentor Dannii Minogue

He's currently favourite to win The X Factor this weekend, and looks certain to make a hugely successfully career for himself through his appearance on the show.

But a few years ago, things were very different for Matt Cardle.

And the magnitude of the change in situation was never more obvious than today, when Matt returned to the Five Bells pub in Colne Engaine, Essex - the local drinking hole in which he used to play on a Saturday night.

Hordes of fans: Hundreds of fans, young and old, turned up at the pub in a bid to catch a glimpse of their idol

However, this time, Matt was accompanied by mentor Dannii Minogue, and was greeted by hordes of fans all eager to catch a glimpse of their idol.

Looking emotional at the amount of support he was receiving, Matt clapped his hand to his mouth in astonishment as the crowds of fans chanted his name.

Matt then performed an intimate gig for 200 lucky people inside the pub, ahead of his official comeback concert in Colchester tonight.

Spot the finalist: Matt (seen in the centre) is swarmed by fans as he arrived at the pub with Dannii

Home town: Matt performed an intimate gig in the pub for 200 people ahead of a homecoming performance in Colchester tonight

Afterwards, Matt said: 'No words can describe what an incredible experience this has been. I'm not even going to try - and my vocabulary isn't that big anyway!'

He later wrote on his Twitter page: 'Just played a gig at my local, was so emotional, lovely to see everyone :) xx'

Before his venture onto The X Factor, Matt found local success with his former band Darwyn at various performances in the pub, and also started his musical career in the drinkery at Buskers Night.

Amazed: Matt and Dannii arrived to be greeted by crowds of eager fans in Essex

Support: Dannii thanked fans in the pub for their support ahead of Matt performing Nights In White Satin

Ahead of Matt performing Nights In White Satin, his mentor Dannii took to the stage to thank fans for their support.

She said: 'I want to say thank you so much for having Matt back at the Five Bells, and for bringing him home and for all the support you have given him throughout the X Factor competition.

'This means so much to him. I've been living and breathing it with him since day one, and you guys have too.

The setting: The pub had put X Factor posters up all over the place in support of Matt

Before he was famous: Matt performing at the Five Bells before his appearance on The X Factor

'He told me he started here at Buskers night - the Five Bells is where you discover talent, right?

'And he's just going to perform a few songs today to work off his bar tab. We need every ounce of energy and support ahead of this weekend.'

Matt will face competition from Rebecca Ferguson, Cher Lloyd and One Direction in this weekend's final, but is currently favourite to win with odds of 5/6 with William Hill.

And Dannii is said to have a secret weapon to ensure Matt's victory, in the form of Christina Aguilera.

Famously, every year on the X Factor final, contestants are joined by musical legends for a duet.

Smiles all round: Matt couldn't hide his delight as he signed autographs for his local fans

Heartthrob: Matt has become something of a favourite among the young female fans of the show

While Beyonce duetted with Alexandra Burke on the 2008 final, last year's winner teamed up with George Michael for a rendition of Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, while Stacey Solomon joined forces with Michael Buble on Feeling Good.

But Dannii is hoping a duet between Matt and Christina will help him clinch the win on Sunday night.

A source told the Metro: 'A duet between Christina and Matt would be a magical moment. Matt's voice is phenomenal and Christina can hit notes no-one has dreamed of. They would be a perfect pairing no matter what song they sang.'

However, a spokesperson refused to confirm or deny the rumours, adding: 'We're not confirming any of our guest performers.'

Before he was famous, performing at The Five Bells:


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