Huge star says he’s ‘gutted’ to be axed from The Voice UK after years on the panel in shock show shake-up

HE is one of the most successful graduates of reality TV.

But contestant-turned-judge Olly Murs will no longer be appearing on The Voice after being dropped by the ITV series, he has revealed.

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Olly Murs says he is gutted to be dropped by The Voice and it was not a mutual decisionCredit: PAOlly says he will miss The Voice and did not expect to be axed from the ITV show

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Olly says he will miss The Voice and did not expect to be axed from the ITV showCredit: Rex

The candid star has opened up about his hurt at the decision — but is bouncing back after being snapped-up by Take That to tour next year.

He said: “I’m gutted. I got the call last week to say I won’t be back on the show, and it’s 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 might, and shine and gloss this up and say, ‘It was my decision’. I don’t want to do that.

“I don’t want to bulls**t my fans or bulls**t people who watch the show, and say, ‘Oh, it was an amicable decision to leave — I’ve got lots of things on next year, I can’t do it any more’.

“No. Genuinely, I accept their ­decision, and they’ll find someone great, I’m sure. But am I going to miss it? Yeah.

“Did I want to leave? No. Will I still watch the show? Of course, but it’ll be sore thinking that could have been me . . .”

News of Olly’s axing comes six years after the star, 39, joined the singing contest 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 will be awkward, won’t it?!)

‘I’ve had knockbacks’

During his stint on the show, he twice won the competition, successfully mentoring his chosen artists.

The gallant singer has not yet informed his fellow panellists who, this year, also include Anne-Marie.

He adds: “I still have a great ­relationship with ITV and I don’t actually think it was their decision as such — it was probably more [production company] Talpa.

“They told my team they’re looking at new people. I don’t know if anyone knows yet, but I will really miss Tom, especially as I got very close to him.

“I’m going to miss drinking champagne after the show with him and chatting life stories but hopefully if he reads this, he might get in touch.

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“I loved The Voice and will always remember my first day on the 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 just enjoyed it. I am really going to miss it.

“I loved the people behind the scenes, the coaches, everyone involved, so I am absolutely gutted not to be doing it again but you have to move on, don’t you?

“I’ve had knockbacks in my career before, I will be fine. Something exciting will come along.

“But this year has been such a year of positives for me, I always thought something bad might come around . . . and I guess this is it.”

Olly is now preparing to go on tour with Take That and is looking forward to it

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Olly is now preparing to go on tour with Take That and is looking forward to itCredit: Splash

The Dear Darlin’ singer, who has had four No1 singles and eight Top Tens, has, indeed, had an otherwise sterling year.

Yesterday Take That announced a 21-date UK live tour which Olly will open. He is, understandably, thrilled to have been asked.As one door shuts . . .

“It’s an amazing opportunity and hopefully will be a great ticket for a fan,” he says.

“Of course I’ve got an ego but the idea of going on tour with Take That — they’re one of the greatest, biggest music acts this country has ever ­produced, and they were a massive part of my childhood growing up.”

Earlier this year Olly completed his own sell-out stadium tour, and in the summer the singer — who found fame on The X Factor in 2009 — married his stunning girlfriend, Amelia Tank.

The couple married on Essex’s Osea Island 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 uncommital. But the bond between us just solidified and gelled even more once we got engaged, and ­sharing my wedding day with her felt so special. I cried a lot on the day.

“It was a celebration of our love, and magical with everyone there. I feel I’ve become more emotional and more sensitive over the past few years. I’ve stopped trying to put up this hard exterior of a man, trying to be tough.

“I remember going to my nan’s funeral, and trying to be tough and not cry in front of people. Now I embrace that emotion.”

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Olly says his wedding to Amelia Tank was an emotional day and he was in tears

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Olly says his wedding to Amelia Tank was an emotional day and he was in tearsCredit: Leo Holden

The couple, who met on Instagram, are keen for children but, wisely, have set no time-frame.

“Of course we’d love to be parents”, he says. “I want to be a dad but sometimes you don’t know the implications that might be in place — we’ve not tried to have children yet so we don’t know if we actually can.

“We are trying to be realistic and, who knows, we might be really lucky and get pregnant straight away.

“But I know from experience with close friends of mine who have had difficult pregnancies that it’s not always that easy.“

‘It’s given me energy’

In May the Essex-born performer turns 40. And, chatting near his ­central London apartment, he has never looked fitter.

This, of course, is in part down to his new wife, a competition-winning fitness model.

He works out six times a week — he tells me: “I’m going boxing after this.” — and rarely drinks alcohol. (His raucous stag do celebrations in Hvar, Croatia, being the exception where, among other things, “I was made to neck a pint from a random lad’s sock”. Sounds nice!)

Last year he gave up booze for a year, and now largely eats like a professional sportsman. He explains: “I don’t think alcohol agrees with me any more — I get really bad stomach problems.

“I wear a Whoop heart rate ­monitor and it’s shown me that alcohol has a massive effect — even just a couple of beers, guts-wise, are really bad.

“I’ve always said health is my wealth, and especially as I head to 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 simply eating real, nutritious food and that’s mad.

“If I want a doughnut or a McDonald’s though, I will.

“But generally I am eating, living, sleeping better and it’s made me more focused, less lethargic, and given me more energy.”

Olly, who’s previously toured with both Robbie Williams and One Direction, has also had to adapt his training in the gym after having a full anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction on his knee in 2019.

A series of operations on his injured joint — hurt playing football when he played semi-pro — have taken their toll.

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He explains: “I’ve got arthritis in my knee, and have to work around it in my training — it’s quite severe.

“But it was absolutely fine on tour, and I feel fantastic now. It doesn’t affect my dancing.”

‘Down to earth occasion’

Like most celebrities, Man Utd fan Olly is prudently cautious around social media.

He is depressed by Twitter’s “negativity”, but enjoys Instagram and TikTok. (Combined followers, seven million).

One of these is England and Spurs midfielder, James Maddison, who recently slid into his DM’s.

He recalls: “Recently Man Utd got beaten by Spurs and Madders ­messaged me and said, ‘Mate, can I have your telephone number?’

“And I was like, ‘I f***ing hate Spurs but I really like James ­Maddison’. I was genuinely wondering if he was just calling to rub it in, but surely not?!

“Anyway, he rang and asked me to sing at his mum’s 50th, and explained she was a huge fan. So I went up and performed a couple of weeks ago back in ­Coventry. It was a really nice moment, and a really down to earth occasion.

“It wasn’t some massive lavish do like you might expect from a ­Premiership footballer, just really nice people.

“He’s such a lovely, genuine guy.”

Olly says he felt particularly close to The Voice veteran Tom Jones

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Olly says he felt particularly close to The Voice veteran Tom JonesCredit: ITV

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