Entertainment & Arts

Talking Shop: Olly Murs

Last year's X Factor runner-up Olly Murs is keeping his fingers crossed that his debut single Please Don't Let Me Go is going to number one this weekend.

The 26-year-old, who was compared to Robbie Williams during the show, reveals he regularly e-mails the pop star.

He has also found out the hard way how fame can affect family and friends.

Image caption Olly Murs is on course to score a number one single at the weekend

You co-wrote your new single, Please Don't let Me Go. What are your hopes for it?

Well hopefully it will come in at number one. Katy Perry is putting up a fight, though. Whatever I get in the chart will be amazing, but of course like most artists getting a number one is what I want.

It seems everyone who takes part in the X Factor releases a single - what makes you so different?

I think what makes me different is the fact that I'm quite confident, but I'm also an entertainer.

I'm kind of like a people person and I give people what they want and I don't try to change. I'm the same person in every single performance that I do. I'm able to showcase my personality in my music. So that's probably why people like me.

What is your ultimate career plan?

To be a superstar. I just want to be a successful British artist. I want number ones, number one albums and Brit awards. That's what I'm working every day to achieve.

You got on really well with Robbie Williams - did you stay in touch?

I speak to Robbie if and when I can, but he's a very busy man, but I do e-mail him here and there.

Do you actually have Robbie's phone number?

Image caption Murs hopes to patch up a disagreement with his brother

No, but I have his e-mail address in my phone. I caught up with him recently when he was in London promoting the new single with Gary [Barlow] so we had a quick hello. We have kept in contact. He's heard the album and the single and he really liked it.

How does it feel to have gone from being a call centre worker in Essex to being a bit famous?

I don't know. Every day I think, 'how do I get my head round my life?'

It's changed. It's been an amazing year but you have to adapt very quickly. I think some people struggle to deal with the fame side of things, but I have coped with it really well and taken it in my stride.

I think it's nice that people come up to you and want autographs and pictures. They like me, that's important to me - I'd hate to be someone no-one liked. I'm very lucky that I'm a likeable person and I do get good press.

So do you see yourself as a celebrity?

Not really, no. I walked into a room the other day and I saw Macaulay Culkin - in my eyes, he's a star. I watched him when I was little, I don't see myself as famous. I like the fact that I'm quite grounded and I still live at home with my parents.

Your brother spoke to the press recently about how upset he was that you chose the X Factor over his wedding. What's going on?

It was a private matter that I didn't really want to talk about - but it's obviously something he wanted to talk about.

Image caption Murs does not think fame has changed him

It was a very hard time and my family are still very upset about it, but we just have to move on. Time's a healer and hopefully if me and my brother decide to speak in the future we can clear things up.

So you're still not speaking?

No, because I think at the moment it's for the best because he's very upset and angry.

But you know he did sell a story about his own brother to the press, so it's a very bitter pill to swallow - because we're family and I wish we could have sorted it out before he went to the papers.

Has it taken the shine off what is happening to you?

I'm disappointed, but you know that's the way life is at the moment. People you know will speak to the press, but you obviously don't expect them to be someone who you love very much.

What do you make of the "autotuning" furore?

Well I've never heard of it being used in a live show like The X Factor, that was a bit of a shock to me to be honest. I'm fully behind the X Factor and I was in the show last year but I never heard of it being used.

Is it cheating?

If the performer can't sing it's not going to make a massive difference.

Olly Murs was talking to BBC Entertainment reporter Fiona Bailey.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites