He’s the leader of the band: Matt Cardle takes over from Will Young in Strictly Come Dancing

06 Jul
Posted in: Theatre News
Author: Press Releases
Picture: Matt Crockett

X Factor winner and best-selling recording artist Matt Cardle can’t resist the woo of the West End as he takes over from Will Young as bandleader Wally Strand from 31 July in Strictly Ballroom The Musical.

Strictly Ballroom tells the story of Scott Hastings – an arrogant young ballroom champion who gets in trouble for daring to dance his own steps. When he ends up dancing with a beginner, Fran, together they find the courage to defy tradition with moves that aren’t “strictly ballroom”… Director/choreographer Drew McOnie (Jesus Christ Superstar, In The Heights) has brought the story to life with a fusion of dance styles.

Matt Cardle said:

“I’m so excited to be returning to the West End and to be joining the cast of Strictly Ballroom to play the part of Wally Strand. It’s so rare that a role comes around that you can put so much of your own stamp on. I have seen the show and it’s absolutely incredible. Baz Luhrmann is an utter genius, as is Drew McOnie. To have the opportunity to sing all these huge songs every night is a real honour.”

The cast is led by Jonny Labey and Zizi Strallen alongside Michelle Bishop, Ivan De Freitas, Anna Francolini, Gabriela Garcia, Charlotte Gooch, Richard Grieve, Gerard Horan, Liam Marcellino, Stephen Matthews, Fernando Mira, Eve PolycarpouLauren Stroud and Gary Watson.


Matt Cardle first came to the public’s attention when he won The X Factor in 2010, the year the TV phenomenon series enjoyed its highest-ever ratings. His debut single ‘When We Collide’ was Christmas number one in 2010, sold over one million copies and was nominated for a BRIT Award for Best Single. Since then, Matt has now sold over two million albums, had three Top 10 albums and played five sold-out UK tours. Matt’s most recent album Time To Be Alive was released by Sony earlier this year and features his latest single ‘I’m Not Letting Go Yet’ and the club hit ‘Desire’. In 2015 he made his West End debut, playing the lead role of Huey Calhoun in Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre.