Olly Murs confirms X Factor exit: “My heart belongs to music”

Singer and former contestant says stepping down as co-host was “an incredibly hard decision”

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Olly Murs has confirmed he won’t be returning as a presenter on this year’s X Factor.

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Murs joined as the show’s co-host last year alongside Caroline Flack, taking over from long-standing host Dermot O’Leary, but says he wants to get back to working on music.

“This was an incredibly hard decision to make and one I didn’t take lightly as I’ve really enjoyed co-hosting the X Factor with Caroline Flack,” said Murs.

“It’s been one big adventure and I loved every minute of it. But my heart belongs to music and I want to concentrate 100 per cent on making my next album and getting back to performing.

“Last November I was doing the show, promoting a new single and I felt increasingly like the music side of things had to be shoehorned into the TV schedule,” he added. 

“Now that I’ve started working on my next album I couldn’t see myself having the time to do both in the best possible way.”

Murs is signed to Simon Cowell’s record label Syco Music, with the X Factor boss adding that it’s not the end of the singer’s television work with him.

“It was fantastic having Olly on The X Factor last year and now this year he has to concentrate on his new album,” said Cowell. “In addition to this, we have agreed to work on some other TV projects in the future.”

Cowell joked to RadioTimes.com recently that Louis Walsh’s new gig as a judge on Ireland’s Got Talent was the “deal” they’d struck after his X Factor exit – so watch this space for more from Murs.

Whether Flack will return has yet to be confirmed. We do know that she’ll once again host ITV2’s Love Island later this year, which clashes with the singing contest’s filming schedule. While they made it work last time, live episodes on the steamy reality show aren’t expected to be on a specific day each week this time around. The aim is to be more reactive to the goings on in the villa, but a schedule that up in the air may make juggling both shows difficult.

It could certainly be all change, as Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw has already confirmed he won’t return and Rita Ora has spoken candidly about The Voice and The X Factor both battling to get her on board.

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The X Factor returns later this year