AS a lowly intern at the Bournemouth Daily Echo, it’s not hard to believe that this is the first time I’ve done an exclusive interview with a pop star.

I was thrilled when I heard I was going to talk to the 2010 X Factor winner, Matt Cardle. It won’t be long before his Intimate & Live tour hits the Pavilion Theatre on July 9.

Needless to say, I was nervous and it didn’t help that when I called him the phone signal was terrible.

The line went dead after the initial hello...

Thankfully he hadn’t twigged my inexperience and two minutes later he called me back, and I was greeted by the full Cardle charm.

He told me that he’s halfway through his Intimate & Live tour and so far, he’s loving it.

“It’s going amazingly well. The places have been packed out and the atmosphere is awesome,” says Matt, 33.

Perhaps best known for his hit singles When We Collide and Run For Your Life. Matt has been playing tunes from his three previous albums, Letters (2011), The Fire (2012) and Porcelain (2013). As he is in the middle of writing his fourth album, Higher Power, he is also showcasing some hits from it which he revealed are more on the electronic side.

He added: “I love playing music with high energy, rock and electronic. I do listen to some classical music but obviously I don’t do that myself.”

When asked what advice he would give to aspiring singers, he replied with something which could be used in life generally. Quite the philosopher, I thought.

“If you want something bad enough, just keep doing it and never give up. Don’t take no as an answer and stay true to yourself. Do what you love and be as individual with it as you can.”

With his fame, he says he cannot remember the last time he was not recognised while walking along the street. He will either be stopped or looked and pointed at.

Usually he doesn’t mind unless he’s in a rush. I think we can all relate to that.

The last week in Britain has been a hectic one, so I decided I would stray away from music talk and ask him about his thoughts on the EU Referendum and the Prime Minister stepping down.

Much like his stage persona, Matt was equally as laidback about recent events and said he was “on the fence” about it all.

We then spoke about his interests and what he does in his free time. When he finds time he will watch The X Factor, go out with friends and he loves skateboarding, but while on tour he doesn’t in case he falls over and sprains a wrist.

“I’m very busy so I don’t have a lot of time to relax but because I do what I love, I don’t feel like I’m working most of the time.

“I like to party as much as the next guy, so when you have something like this going on, it can seriously be tempting to go out a lot but you’ve just got to remember that you have to work hard and be honest with your game.

“Everything is a balancing act. A few mistakes have been made along the line.”

Curiously, I questioned whether he gets much attention from girls since his rise to fame. His reply was pleasingly humble.

“I’ve never seen myself that way, but people do say lovely things to me.”

Getting back on track, I decided to finish our conversation where it began, with his tour coming to Bournemouth. Would this be his first visit to the area?

“I went there on my first tour in 2012. It’s a beautiful venue but we haven’t been down that end for a while, so we’re really excited to see the crowds and put on a great show.”

He then revealed another occasion he came to Bournemouth before his career took off.

“I actually went down when I was 19 or 20 for an interview at Bournemouth University. I wanted to do a music course there but they didn’t want me. To be fair, I was probably rubbish at the time.”

I tell him that I bet the music lecturers there are kicking themselves now. It goes back to his earlier advice; never give up.

Instead of university, Matt spent time in studios and rehearsing with his bands, Darwyn in 2005 and Seven Summers in 2009.

He said he would run around London, “throwing CDs in everyone’s face” but that “it didn’t work.”

Then, in 2010 he ended up beating One Direction to the winner’s crown in The X Factor’s highest-rating series.

A household name, Matt then made three albums that made the top 10, sold 2.2 million records in the UK and his single When We Collide became a million-selling Brit Award nominated UK single.

“It’s been six years since the X Factor and everything’s been amazing since. This life isn’t something I want to get used to.”

Matt Cardle plays the Pavilion Theatre on July 9.

n For more information please contact BH Live Tickets on 0844 576 3000, book online at or visit the Bournemouth Pavilion ticket office in person.