X Factor champ Matt Cardle is turning his back on huge crowds and keeping a promise to an old friend to play a wedding gig.
The Colchester-born painter and decorator, who triumphed over Liverpudlian single mother Rebecca Ferguson and performed to 20 million TV viewers, said he would honour the commitments he made before he became famous.
He has pledged to perform at the nuptials of Chris Heap, the manager of The Bull pub in Halstead where he used to work.
“I always said before I went on The X Factor, with gigs we had booked up, ‘Mate, if I’m still available, of course I will do it, and I won’t charge any more’,” he said in an online interview with his mentor Dannii Minogue on MyDaily.co.uk.
He added: “The booking is still standing.”
Cardle, 27, used to wait tables and perform with his band – Ali McMillan and Richard Grace – at the drinking spot, months before he applied to the ITV1 talent contest.
And Cardle, who is gearing up for The X Factor tour, which kicks off in Birmingham on February 19, said he had no plans to bump up his rates now that he is in demand.
He said: “I will do what I said I would do, because that is what I have been doing. I’m still me and I will still do the gigs.”
Cardle has wowed viewers with his renditions of tracks such as Roberta Flack’s First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Bruno Mars’ Just The Way You Are.
With a £1 million record deal, he also plans to pay off some debts, including a big bar tab.