Arts Q&A: Matt Cardle on Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine and skate boarding

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week former X Factor winner Matt Cardle

Matt Cardle is playing at The Dalriada Festival

1. When did you think about a career in writing what were your first steps into it? 

I have been singing since I was five years old and then started playing guitar when I was about eight. When I growing up I was in a number of bands and then of course I won The X Factor eight years ago.

2. Best gigs you’ve been to?

Foo Fighters and The Prodigy in 1997, Elton John Aids Foundation gig in Hyde Park and I've fond memories of a Fugees concert when I was young.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band?

Nirvana. I've been a huge fan of them since I was young. It would be an awesome party.

4. The record you’d take to a desert island?

Evil Empire by Rage Against the Machine. It's an album that opened my eyes to the potential of music.

5. And the book?

Perhaps a book on how to learn another language to pass the time.

6. Top three films?

Forrest Gump, Shawshank Redemption and Dumb and Dumber.

7. Worst film you’ve seen?

I recently watched The Woman horror movie – it was awful.

8. Favourite authors?

I'm not a big reader but growing up I loved Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl, especially The Twits.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team?

I'm a big skateboarder. I started when I was 13 and it took over my life and I still love it. I'm not a huge football fan, but I'm enjoying watching the World Cup.

10. Ideal holiday destination?

Snowboarding in Serbia.

11. Pet hate?

Cream tea. Why does tea and cake need a name?

12. What’s your favourite:


Either sea bass or Mum's spaghetti.




Hendrick's and tonic.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other?

My brother Dominic and I know him thanks to my mum.

14. Is there a God?

It's a good question. Ricky Gervais – I think he's a genius. Seriously, I think faith is good and believing in something is great, but I'm not a huge fan of religion. There are over 2,000 gods in the world and I don't agree with people insisting only their god is real and all the others are rubbish.

:: Matt Cardle will headline this summer's Dalriada Festival at Glenarm Castle on Sunday July 15. For information and tickets for the two-day festival visit In August he will be taking over from Will Young in the role of Wally Strand in Strictly Ballroom the Musical at London’s Piccadilly Theatre. Tickets at His latest album Time to Be Alive is out now.

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