He’s the former X Factor contestant it’s OK to like. Cheeky chap Olly Murs appeared on the UK TV talent show in 2009. Despite being the runner-up that year, he’s gone on to have a more successful career than the winner, Joe McElderry. Here are ten things you might not know about the pop star and TV presenter who performs at Dubai Jazz Festival on February 14.
01. Before he was famous, Olly appeared on the UK TV show Deal Or No Deal in 2007. He was on the show for a month before he got to play, and won just Dhs60.
02. He played semi-professional football for Witham Town FC, in his home county of Essex, but his football career ended when he injured his knee. He’s since played for the English side in the celebrity charity event Soccer Aid, though.
03. For UK charity Comic Relief in 2011, he trekked 100km across the Kaisut Desert in Kenya with fellow celebrities Craig David and BBC radio presenter Scott Mills.
04. Has a twin brother called Ben, who reportedly fell out with Olly while he was on The X Factor after he skipped his brother’s wedding to appear on the show.
05. After The X Factor he carried on living with his parents until April 2012. His parents had previously urged him to give up on his singing dream and get a “normal” job.
06. He sang with Robbie Williams on The X Factor, and they’re now good friends. Olly even recorded a song – I Wanna Be Like You – with Robbie for his 2013 album Swings Both Ways.
07. In 2013, he appeared in an episode of the US teen TV drama 90210. He played himself, and performed two of his songs in the episode – Troublemaker and Right Place, Right Time.
08. Before he hit the big time, he used to be in a covers band called Small Town Blaggers, with one of his friends playing guitar, touring pubs and bars in Essex.
09. The band Loveable Rogues – who supported Olly on one of his tours – revealed that Olly takes 20 pairs of his famously tight trousers to each show, just in case he rips them on stage.
10. He returned to The X Factor in 2011 to perform his single Dance With Me Tonight, supported by none other than The Muppets – Fozzie Bear on guitar and Animal on the drums.
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Dubai Jazz Festival, Festival Park, Dubai Festival City. Tel: (04) 3911196. Friday February 14, Dhs350. Taxi: Dubai Festival City Mall.