Olly Murs on track for a night at the races

POP sensation Olly Murs is heading to the North West this summer with a special outdoor concert at Haydock Park racecourse in August.

It has proved another incredible year for the singer-songwriter, who shot to fame on TV talent show The X Factor. Since then he has enjoyed huge commercial success with a string of number one hits. Olly even returned to host the block-busting talent show he finished runner-up in 2009 and now he is back with arguably his best album yet. Before a truly busy summer, he took time out to have a quick chat.

Olly, you are the most successful male artist to emerge from X Factor. You also presented the show before releasing your fourth successive number one album, ‘24 Hours.’ When I was a contestant on X Factor, I wanted it so bad. Those two or three minutes on a Saturday were the most important minutes of the week – and it’s still the same now. Then, I’d watch the artists on X Factor and go ‘What are they doing? Why are they not taking this more seriously?’ I just can’t get my head around that. You don’t just go through the motions. You have to really connect with the people at home. Looking back, the only option I had was X-Factor and that wasn’t easy. I had to do three auditions against 250,000 people before I got through. and even if you do get into the show’s top 10, how many people go on to have a career? I never expected in my wildest dreams to get so far. I’ve always been a grafter and I’ve never asked for money from anyone. I was doing two paper rounds a day from the age of 13. I wanted to have new shoes and jeans and to smell nice.”

The LP is your fifth album in seven years, but this project was far from being business as usual after a break-up with your partner. “I did run of out of ideas, and I felt with this album I didn’t know where to go next. But writing about what’s been happening in my life was the right thing to do and it also showed a different side to me. When you’ve broken up with someone, the first part of the day you might be ‘Cool, it’s fine, happy days.’ And then, all of a sudden you remember ‘Oh no, I’m on my own. I miss her.’ So it was like ‘Yeah, let’s write something a little bit like that’, so this is the most heartbreaking, most honest album I’ve ever done.

Star maker Simon Cowell frequently praised your professionalism and charm, on and off the stage. “It’s just the way I’ve been brought up - to be nice to people. It’s common sense, isn’t it? I don’t like saying I’m a pop star because it makes me sound different from other people. If I had to fill in a form saying what I do I’d put entertainer, because that’s what I do: I sing, I dance, I tick all the boxes. I’m an ordinary guy who does have an amazing job.

You are making your first visit to Haydock Park. Do you enjoy touring and playing live? “I’ve done loads of different festivals that people go to every year. But I just feel like going to Haydock Park is so different in terms of a gig and people get to enjoy a different vibe, so that’s really refreshing. These are definitely the shows you get to see the real people, because some of them that come to Haydock Park, maybe, have never been to a music festival or an outdoor pop show, so that’s a bit special. I love the atmosphere of a racecourse, I love the people, and I’m really looking forward to having a day out with my mates then meeting another beautiful audience and singing for a couple of hours.”

Tickets and hospitality for An Evening at the Races with Olly Murs can be booked online or by calling 0344 579 3006. 

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