Pictures: Matt Cardle on his visit to Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 10:46 10 July 2014 | UPDATED: 10:52 10 July 2014

Matt Cardle. Picture: Joe Higham's Reportage.

Matt Cardle. Picture: Joe Higham's Reportage.

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X Factor winner Matt Cardle said he had the “best time” performing at Saffron Walden Carnival – before heading out to a local pub.

The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright was the compère for the Carnival Queen competition.The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright was the compère for the Carnival Queen competition.

The 31-year-old kicked off the carnival celebrations with a bang as he entertained a packed crowd last Friday night.

He told the Reporter afterwards: “I had the best time performing in Saffron Walden at the 8 Day Weekend Festival.

“I visit the town often because I love the skate park, but this was the first time I’d had a guitar and microphone with me!

“The hot and sweaty crowd were totally up for having a good time.”

He added: “After soundcheck I visited my pianist’s nan for a cup of tea before heading to a local pub for some home-cooked grub.”

The Essex singer-songwriter’s appearance on stage was preceded by the carnival queen competition which was compèred by another star name.

Mark Wright, of The Only Way Is Essex and I’m a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here fame, introduced the contestants – all of whom were vying for the highly-sought after crown.

Fenella-Jane Thomson, 18, was chosen as the victor at the event, held in a marquee on the Common, and was paraded around Saffron Walden the following day as part of the carnival procession.

The carnival, organised by Saffron Walden Round Table, runs from July 4 to 12 on the Common and throughout the town.

For more details, including the fun events still to come, visit 8dayweekend.co.uk.

• A gallery of photos from Matt Cardle’s gig can be viewed above. Pictures courtesy of Joe Higham’s Reportage.

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