X Factor role for runner-up Olly Murs

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The Independent Culture

X Factor runner-up Olly Murs has landed a role as presenter of the hit show's spin-off series.

The chart star will host ITV2's Xtra Factor later this year, along with Caroline Flack.

Konnie Huq, who hosted the programme for one series, parted company from the show earlier this year. There had been criticism of her performance, but she was said to have other projects on the go.

Murs's last-minute addition to the line-up caught many by surprise as Radio 1 host Matt Edmondson was reported to have landed the role.

Filming begins today in Birmingham with the first of the X Factor auditions.

Edmondson joked that he had been all set to attend. In a message on Twitter, he said: "Got my bag packed, train tickets booked to Birmingham, copy of Simon's autobiography! Can't wait!... What's that you say? OLLY MURS?!??!?!"

He added: "Thank God I'm still in the running for Countdown."

The latest confirmation of personnel comes just days after the new judging panel for the ITV1 talent series was unveiled. Joining regular Louis Walsh are Take That's Gary Barlow, Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland and N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos.

Cheryl Cole, who was axed from Simon Cowell's US version of the X Factor just days after she started, is not returning.

Murs, who competed in the 2009 series of X Factor, has forged his own chart career since finding fame on the show, last year topping the singles chart with Please Don't Let Me Go.

He said: "I'm so excited to be joining the Xtra Factor with Caroline.

"The X Factor is the show that put me where I am so I'm chuffed to be involved again - this time to work on it from the other side and see some new stars coming through."

Flack - who has presented an I'm A Celebrity... spin-off - said: "I'm a massive fan of The X Factor and can't wait to get started.

"I'm sad to leave the jungle but I've had a great two years and this is an opportunity that I couldn't turn down."