Olly Murs: I had a long time to be selfish but now my wife and baby come first

The singer talks about preparing for fatherhood while touring the UK with Take That, leaving The Voice, and his acting plans.

Naomi Clarke
Wednesday 01 May 2024 09:30 BST
Olly Murs (Matt Crossick/PA)
Olly Murs (Matt Crossick/PA) (PA Archive)

Olly Murs has not slowed down much since we first saw him belt his heart out on The X Factor back in 2009.

Over the last 15 years, he has released seven hit albums, toured worldwide, and appeared on what feels like every entertainment show Britain has to offer. But he may be about to embark on his busiest period yet as he will have to juggle touring alongside Take That with his latest venture – fatherhood.

“I’ve always dreamt I’d be a dad one day and having a little baby in my arms that is part of me, it’s quite a crazy thing”, the 39-year-old muses.

The singer announced the birth of his first child with wife Amelia in April, a daughter they have named Madison.

Ahead of her arrival, Murs tells me he is feeling “every emotion you could possibly imagine”.

“Excited, petrified, scared, happy, just can’t believe it, shocked, just like ‘Wow is this really happening’,” he rolls off.

“I think for women it’s a real emotional journey they go through, nine months of carrying this baby and the senses, the feelings – it’s a completely different experience than what I’m feeling.

“I’m feeling like ‘Right I need to get this sorted, get that sorted.”

Murs reveals he has even been exercising his handyman skills by constructing the baby’s cot.

In the midst of all the newborn excitement, the singer is also on the road supporting Take That on their This Life tour, which is moving across the UK and Ireland until the end of June before he plays several festivals in the summer, including Carfest, Silverstone Festival and Pub In The Park.

Murs admits the tour has not come quite at the right time, but he is determined to coordinate it alongside his new parenting responsibilities.

“We’re going to have to make it work like every parent does up by the country when it comes to work”, he says.

“In the future, I’ve got to continue working (but) I want to be present.

“Amelia wants to come back to work at some point, too, so we’ve got to figure it out. It’s a bit of a minefield, but we’ll get there.

“The most important thing is that baby’s happy, and we get everything in place that if we are at work some days, the baby can come with me or go with Amelia.

“We’ve got our parents, we’ve got our family and friends around us. So we’ll make it work.”

It may have added a lot to his plate, but when the opportunity came knocking for him to tour with Take That, Murs says he could not turn down the offer.

The singer explains the boy band – which originally consisted of Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Robbie Williams – has been a “massive part” of his life over the years. From his childhood days when their hits would reverberate through his house, to when his 2010 self-titled debut album was knocked down to number two in the charts as the band’s Progress record, which saw the return of Williams for the first time since his departure in 1995, swooped in and took the top spot.

Their lives have continued to intertwine. Murs worked alongside Gary Barlow when he co-presented The Xtra Factor for two series while Barlow judged the main show.

“Take That are iconic”, Murs says. “They are national treasures and they’ve had such longevity – 30 years or so in the industry.

“And the hits, and albums, and the tours they’ve done, the stadium shows – they’re just a part of my heritage.”

The singer says he aspires to reach the group’s success and longevity in his career so to tour alongside them is a “bucket list moment”. And if any of the group fall ill? Not to worry, Murs is ready and waiting to step up to the plate, armed with their back catalogue already memorised.

“I do know their songs really well”, he reveals. “And if Mark, Howard or Gary pull out, I’m their guy.”

After he came runner-up to Joe McElderry on the sixth series of The X Factor, Murs was quick to cement his place within the British music landscape with the release of his debut album, which went double-platinum with the help of his debut hit Please Don’t Let Me Go.

He says he tried to reflect each stage of his life in his next six albums, with 2011’s follow-up In Case You Didn’t Know showcasing his life as “cheeky, young, single”, while his fifth record 24 Hrs captured a period in his life when “relationships didn’t work out”.

The singer says he cannot wait to play his children his most recent album, 2022’s Marry Me, which explores his emotions in the lead-up to getting engaged and married. And as he steps into his next stage of life as a father, he feels his next album will likely follow suit.

I had a long time to be selfish and do what I wanted to do. But now it's not just about me, it's about my wife, it's about the baby.

Olly Murs

“Who knows when that album is going to be but it could be a stressful, exhausted, I’m not getting any sleep album”, he says with a chuckle before offering a short rendition of the power ballad Without You, with tweaked lyrics to “I can’t sleep”.

Alongside his albums, Murs has maintained a steady run of TV appearances over the years, including coaching The Voice UK alongside musicians such as US rapper Will.i.am, Sir Tom Jones, and Anne-Marie.

After it was announced last year that he would be replaced on the panel line-up after six years on the show, Murs said he was “gutted” to leave.

“I wish I was still doing The Voice, I wish I was still doing TV”, he admits.

“But it’s sometimes nice to take a break. People don’t want to see you every week or every year.

“Sometimes it can be a bit too much. I don’t want to outstay my welcome.”

While he has plenty on to keep him preoccupied currently, Murs reveals his next ambition is to explore the world of acting. But he ensures he does not plan to use his name to land a leading role straight away, but instead hopes to take some classes and join amateur dramatics groups.

But at the moment, he plans to focus on the here and now.

“I had a long time to be selfish and do what I wanted to do”, he says. “But now it’s not just about me, it’s about my wife, it’s about the baby…

“I think I’ve earned the right to say, after 14 years, ‘I’m going to become a dad.’ That’s the best job in the world, better than anything I could have ever imagined.

“That’s the hardest job in the world as well. That’s going to be a job that I’m going to have for the rest of my life and it’s something that I really want to be great at.

“And I want to be a great husband, a great dad. So that’s the next step for me at the minute.”

Olly Murs is on tour with Take That in the UK and Ireland until June before they embark on the European and Australian leg.

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