In late 2010, English singer-songwriter Matt Cardle became the latest recipient of the keys to Simon Cowell's executive washroom when he won the most recent series of The X Factor, ITV's phenomenally successful etc.
As Cowell commands, the winner shall sing a song ('the winners song') and that song shall then be the UK Christmas No 1 single. All very exciting. So when the likeable Cardle swept all before him in the series final, he was duly awarded a Christmas No 1.
The track selected was, to the horror of many, a watered down version of the Biffy Clyro guitar-heavy ballad 'Many of Horror', re-titled for Matt Cardle and The X Factor as 'When We Collide'.
Cardle's 'lite' version was, of course, quickly propelled to the top of the UK charts by a public who had finally grown tired of all the Steve Brookstein and Shayne Ward records and their constant radio play, and were seeking something fresh and original. Like a cover.
In fairness to Matt Cardle, he was contractually obliged to do pretty much whatever the Emperor told him to do, so it's hardy his 'fault'. We all recall Will Young going through the motions with his label paymasters before going his own way, and very successfully.
Whether Matt Cardle is the new Will Young or the new Gareth Gates remains to be seen but the early signs are encouraging and, of course, he'll have every chance of succeeding given he has the likes of Gary Barlow lining up to pen hits for him.
Cardle's new single 'Run For Your Life', written by Gary Barlow, is released on Sunday 9th October, with his debut album, 'Letters', out a week or so later. Ahead of the releases, Matt Cardle is taking his new material on a curious jaunt round the Highlands of Scotland.
The short debut tour begins at The Pickaquoy Centre in Kirkwall (where else?) on Friday 23rd September, followed by a gig in the Shetland Islands the next night, before the final show (announced so far) at The Ironworks in Inverness on Wednesday 28th September.
We will have tickets for all three shows when they go on sale at 9AM on Saturday 27th August, priced £20.