HE proved that he was king of X Factor and now Matt Terry is out to show that he's also the King of the Jungle!

For Matt, a convincing winner of the top TV talent show in 2016, will be making his stage debut in Madagascar the Musical which comes to Manchester's Palace Theatre next week.

Based on the hugely successful animated movie from 2005, the musical follows the adventures of a bunch of animal buddies who escape from New York's Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien's Madagascar.

Matt will play Alex the Lion in the family friendly show and he can't wait to show audiences that he's much more than a singer.

"Before everything happened with X Factor I trained for three years in performing arts so it was something I always wanted to do but I never got round to doing until now," he said.

Matt, now 25, studied and the D and B Academy of Performing Arts near the family home in Bromley in Kent.

"I started off in the world of stage and musicals but ended up going down the pop route first so it's nice to be returning to it, particularly in such a big show as this."

Matt had millions of fans when, with Nicole Scherzinger as his mentor, he swept to victory in X Factor two years ago, beating Finnish singer Saara Aalto in the final.

Following his X Factor victory, he released his debut single When Christmas Comes Around, written by no less a figure than Ed Sheeran which reached number three in the singles chart. His debut album, Trouble, was released last year and made the top 30.

"For me it's nice to be able to do other things as well as the recordings and the studio work," said Matt. "Don't get me wrong, singing and recording is great but to make my acting debut in a live show as spectacular as Madagascar the Musical is going to be incredible.

"Also the thought that I might be introducing fans who know me through the X Factor to the theatre is a very exciting thing to be able to do.

"For them to be up close and see the show up there on stage will be a totally different experience."

Madagascar the Musical, which has also been in hit in America features songs familiar to fans of the movie, a live band and a colourful array of puppets as well spectacular costumes.

"When we went for the first costume fitting I was sweating just standing there as Alex," said Matt. "One thing's for sure I don't think I've ever been fitter.

"The film is one of my favourites and I remember watching it time and time again when I was younger so I kind of know it back to front, so it was nice to be given the opportunity to go ahead and do it on stage.

"It's been exciting to learn the songs and to put my spin on them. Given what I have been doing recently I feel as though the songs will be my forte, and that they will be the easy part in a way. But I'm enjoying the whole experience of being an all-round performer and hopefully that will surprise a lot of people who will see a different side of me."

As well as singing and acting on the show, Alex the Lion will also be taking part in several dance numbers.

"How's my dancing? You'll just have to come and long to find out," laughed Matt.

He said that he definitely had no regrets about his whole X Factor experience.

"It gave me the platform to be where I am now and has given me these great opportunities so I am very grateful to the X Factor," he said.

Earlier this year it was revealed Matt had parted company with his record label but he says he is determined to carry on making music.

"That will definitely be something I will be doing in the background and then going back to but for the moment I'm fully-focused on Madagascar," he said.

Matt will be in the show as it tours the UK until December and then will make a decision about continuing in the role of Alex as the tour continues next year.

"It's so nice to be able to get my teeth into something like this and we will be visiting some great places around the country along the way.

"Madagascar is an iconic family movie and the stage musical is just as much fun – it's just a real joy to be part of it."

Madagascar the Musical, Palace Theatre, Manchester, Tuesday, August 14 to Saturday, August 18. Details from 0844 8713019 or www.atgtickets.com