Back our boy!

EAST ANGLIA: Vote for Matt Cardle!

Today the Evening Star is issuing a rallying cry to readers to pledge their support for the East Anglian X Factor finalist

Matt, 27, from Little Maplestead, near Halstead, Essex, will tonight be performing live to millions on the first live show of the ITV hit series.

His proud parents have echoed our plea for support with the message ‘back our boy’.

In their first interview about their son’s dramatic X Factor journey, David and Jenny Cardle have said they are “delighted” by all the support and promised that “the best is still to come”.

“What the public has seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Mr Cardle, 60. “Matt has got so much more to give and we’re just so proud – and relieved – that he finally has the opportunity to showcase his voice to the world.”

Matt was whisked to Australia for nine days for the final part of the competition’s selection process.

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And after wowing judge Dannii Minogue with his version of Beyonc�’s If I Were a Boy, Matt was selected to be in her final three in the ‘boys’ category.

His parents, who run their own logistics company, said that people watching the show did not realise how hard he had worked to get his shot at fame.

Mrs Cardle, 59, said: “Music took over his life at an early age and it’s all he’s ever wanted to do. He’s worked every type of job going just to scrape enough money together to spend a few hours in a recording studio.

“It’s not been easy for him living at home, at the age of 27, with people telling him that it’s time to get a proper job.”

Matt’s unique vocal style and ability to switch effortlessly to falsetto have earned him plaudits with the judges, but it has not been an easy ride to achieve the voice that makes him stand out from the crowd.

In 2005, while using the recording studio at High Barn in Great Bardfield, he was warned that his poor singing technique could cost him his voice.

“He was told by the guy that runs the studio that the way he opens his throat when singing was putting a lot of strain on his vocal chords,” said Mr Cardle.

“When I listened to him I could hear it in his voice that he was struggling, particularly with the high notes.

“After that he had a couple of singing lessons and it worked wonderfully.

“He’s now capable of singing a much higher range than he ever was a few years ago, and without straining his voice.”

Matt will battle it out with the 12 remaining contestants in the live show which kicks off at 7.40pm today. Tomorrow the first act will leave the competition.

Mrs Cardle said: “We’re delighted with all the support that people have given him so far and we’re confident that it will get him to the final!”

n Send your messages of support to Matt. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail