“The X Factor” U.K. 2010 winner Matt Cardle has a “good guy” image, but he has revealed that during a rebellious phase in his childhood, he brought a gun to school. But there is something else that is worrying Cardle: competition from One Direction, the teenage singing group that came in third place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010.
Cardle, 28, said in an exclusive interview with The Sun:
“I was at a posh private school in Essex, then my dad got made redundant and we went to the local school down the road. I went round to a mate’s house and he said he had a gun. He was worried his dad had rumbled him and was searching for it. I gave him my dad’s fishing knife and a tenner in a swap deal …
“I did take a Beretta handgun into school when I was 11. I was expecting some sort of spud gun and he brought out this shiny, nickel Beretta. It was decommissioned but still had the magazine and everything.
“I took it into school to show another mate. I’d only been there for a week. We were in history, pulling it back and holding it, letting it unload with a ‘cling’ sound. There was a bit of metal welded into the barrel. So I had friends in the fifth year go into the CDT lab to fix it.
“We were hoping to free the barrel so we could shoot real bullets. I don’t know what we were thinking. Where the hell was some posh kid from Essex going to get a bullet from? It didn’t work and the older lads took it from me and were running round pretending to shoot it. The head boy told the headmaster and I was in deep trouble. I remember running behind the back of the science lab. I was sat there with the gun in my bag.
“Before I knew it, the headmaster was round the corner shouting, ‘Matt Cardle!’ I think he was expecting a cap gun. When I showed him, I’ll never forget his face.
“The next thing my mum and I were in the car park with a gun-shaped brown paper bag. I was begging her not to shop me. She took me straight to the police station. I got there in this school blazer that was far too big for me.
“My mum said, ‘My son’s got a gun.’ So she put this gun up on the desk, the copper took it away, came back and confirmed it was a real, decommissioned gun. I’d been watching loads of ‘The Bill’ and there I was, sat with my mum, being asked where I got it. I said, ‘No comment’, thinking I’m cool. I said it about four times and then my mum started crying.
“I crumbled and told them who gave it to me. He got a telling off, I got a telling off and a couple of weeks’ suspension from school. It could have been worse.”
Cardle’s debut album, “Letters,” is set for a U.K. release on October 17, 2011. The first single from the album is “Run for Your Life,” which is due for a U.K. release on October 10, 2011.
In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Cardle talked about feeling competitive with One Direction. “The X Factor” U.K. executive producer Simon Cowell mentored One Direction when he was a judge on the show, and he signed the group to his Syco Music label, which is distributed by Sony Music. Cardle, who was mentored by Dannii Minogue when she was a judge on the show, is signed to Sony Music labels Syco Music and Columbia Records.
As previously reported, One Direction’s first single, “What Makes You Beautiful,” debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. charts in September 2011. Sony Music U.K. says that “What Makes You Beautiful” holds the record for the most pre-orders for a single that the company had received, and the song currently holds the 2011 record for the highest first-week sales (153,000 copies) for a U.K. single. One Direction’s debut album is expected to be released before the end of 2011; the album’s title and release date are to be determined.
As Cardle tells the Sunday Mirror:
“They’re competition and it is s*** they got to release before the winner of the actual show. It’s also worrying me that if One Direction decide to get slicker and go for more of an older market, then I’m stuffed too. It shouldn’t have happened really. Simon’s naughty.
“I just hope I’ll be able to cement myself into the charts before that happens. Otherwise I’ll be fuming. I can’t win unless I have an album that does the talking, and I think it does.”