HE is one of the most successful reality show graduates.
But contestant-turned-judge Olly Murs will no longer appear on The Voice after being axed by the ITV series, he has revealed.
Olly Murs says he’s horrified to have been kicked off The Voice and it wasn’t a mutual decisionCredit: PA
Olly says he will miss The Voice and never expected to be axed from the ITV series Credits: Rex
The outspoken star has been open about his hurt at the decision – but is on the mend after being snapped up by Take That to tour next year.
He said: “I am overwhelmed. I got the call last week to be told I wouldn’t be coming back to the show, and it was a bit of a shock, to be honest. I didn’t really expect that to come.
“But I don’t want to sit here like other artists would, shine and polish this and say, ‘It was my decision.’ I don’t want to do that.
“I don’t want to screw over my fans or screw over the people who watch the show and say, ‘Oh, it was a friendly decision to leave – I’ve got a lot of things going on next year, I can’t do it anymore.’
“No. Honestly, I accept their decision and they’ll find someone great, I’m sure. But will I miss them? Yes.
“Did I want to leave? Not. Will I still watch the series? Of course, but it will hurt to think that it could have been me. . .”
News of Olly’s sacking comes six years after the star, 39, joined the singing competition alongside Tom Jones, Will.i.am and Jennifer Hudson.
He has been a mainstay ever since and will have to attend the launch of the new series next month. (That’s going to be awkward, isn’t it?!)
‘I had kickbacks’
During his time on the show, he won the competition twice, successfully mentoring his chosen artists.
The gallant singer has not yet informed his fellow panelists, among whom is Anne-Marie this year.
He adds: “I still have a great relationship with ITV and I don’t really think it was their decision as such — it’s probably more [production company] Talpa.
“They told my team they were looking for new people. I don’t know if anyone knows yet, but I’m going to miss Tom a lot, especially since I got really close to him.
“I’ll miss drinking champagne after the show with him and telling life stories, but I hope he gets back to me if he reads this.
“I loved The Voice and I’ll always remember my first day on set – how nervous I was, sitting in that big, red scary chair.
“But I felt I took to it like a duck to water and really enjoyed it. I will really miss him.
“I loved the people behind the scenes, the coaches, everyone involved, so I’m absolutely excited not to do it again, but you’ve got to move on, haven’t you?
“I’ve had bumps in my career before, I’ll be fine. Something exciting is coming.
“But this year was such a positive year for me that I always thought something bad could happen. . . and I guess that’s it.”
Olly is now preparing to go on tour with Take That and is looking forward to it. Credit: Splash
The Dear Darlin’ singer, who has had four No. 1 singles and eight Top Tens, has indeed had an otherwise stellar year.
Yesterday, Take That announced a 21-date UK live tour to be opened by Olly. He is understandably delighted to be asked. As one door closes. . .
“It’s an amazing opportunity and we hope it will be a great ticket for the fans,” he says.
“Of course I have an ego, but the idea of going on tour with Take That — they’re one of the biggest, biggest bands this country has ever produced, and they were a big part of my childhood growing up.”
Earlier this year, Olly completed his own sold-out stadium tour, and in the summer the singer — who shot to fame on The X Factor in 2009 — married his beautiful girlfriend, Amelia Tank.
The couple tied the knot on Osea Island in Essex in front of close family and friends. It was, he smiles, the happiest weekend of his life.
He adds: “I never thought I’d get married, but then I found The One, my soulmate, and it feels pretty special.
“Until I met Amelia, I was always so casual. But the bond between us only got stronger and stronger after we got engaged, and sharing our wedding day with her felt so special. I cried a lot that day.
“It was a celebration of our love, and magical with everyone there. I feel that I have become more emotional and sensitive in the last few years. I stopped trying to put up with that tough exterior of a man, trying to be tough.
“I remember going to my grandmother’s funeral and trying to be strong and not cry in front of people. Now I accept that emotion.”
Olly says his wedding to Amelia Tank was an emotional day and he was in tears Credit: Leo Holden
The couple, who met on Instagram, desperately want children but, wisely, have not set a time frame.
“Of course we would like to be parents,” he says. “I want to be a dad, but sometimes you don’t know what the implications might be — we haven’t tried to have kids yet so we don’t know if we really can.
“We’re trying to be realistic and, who knows, maybe we’ll be really happy and get pregnant right away.
“But I know from the experience of my close friends who have had difficult pregnancies that it is not always so easy.”
‘It gave me energy’
The Essex-born performer turns 40 in May. And as he talks outside his flat in central London, he has never looked better.
Of course, his new wife, a fitness model who won competitions, is responsible for that.
He works out six times a week — he tells me: “After this I’m going to box.” — and rarely drinks alcohol. (His rambunctious stag party in Hvar, Croatia, with the exception of where he said, among other things, “They made me pull a pint out of a random lad’s stocking”. Sounds lovely!)
He gave up alcohol for a year last year, and now he mostly eats like a professional athlete. He explains: “I don’t think alcohol is good for me anymore — I have serious stomach problems.
“I wear a Whoop heart rate monitor and it showed me that alcohol has a huge effect – even just a few beers, in terms of courage, is really bad.
“I have always said that health is my wealth, and especially as I turn 40 next year, I want to be the best version of myself. I didn’t care what I looked like in my twenties – I do now.
“But society makes you feel like you’re on a diet when you’re just eating real, nutritious food, and that’s crazy.
“Still, if I want a donut or McDonald’s, I will.
“But in general I’m eating, living, sleeping better and it makes me more focused, less lethargic and gives me more energy.”
Olly, who has previously toured with Robbie Williams and One Direction, has also had to adjust his gym training following a full ACL reconstruction in his knee in 2019.
A series of operations on his injured wrist – injured playing football when he was playing semi-professionally – took its toll.
He explains: “I have arthritis in my knee and I have to work it out during training — it’s quite difficult.
“But it was quite good on the tour and now I feel fantastic. It doesn’t affect my dancing.”
Like most celebrities, Man Utd fan Olly is prudently careful with social media.
He is depressed by Twitter’s “negativity” but enjoys Instagram and TikTok. (Combined followers, seven million).
One of them is England and Spurs midfielder James Maddison, who recently entered his DM.
He recalls: “Man Utd were beaten by Spurs recently and Madders texted me and said, ‘Dude, can I have your phone number?’
“And I said, ‘I fucking hate Spurs, but I really love James Maddison’. I honestly wondered if he was calling just to rub it in, but surely not?!
“Anyway, he called and asked me to sing at his mom’s 50th birthday party, and he explained that she was a huge fan. So I went and performed a few weeks ago in Coventry. It was a really beautiful moment and a really down to earth occasion.
“It wasn’t any big flamboyance like you might expect from a Premiership footballer, just really nice people.
“He’s such a wonderful, honest guy.”
Olly says he felt particularly close to The Voice veteran Tom Jones Credit: ITV