Olly Murs says taking over X Factor from Dermot was like Chris Evans replacing Clarkson on Top Gear

Murs admits Dermot O'Leary's were big shoes to fill when he fronted last year's series alongside Caroline Flack

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Olly Murs has likened taking over X Factor presenting duties from Dermot O’Leary to Chris Evans joining Top Gear after Jeremy Clarkson’s departure, admitting he had “very big shoes to fill”. 

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The former contestant (former Xtra host, former guest judge…) fronted the main show with Caroline Flack last year, but exited (like Evans) after one series, having had more than his fair share of criticism (again, much like Evans). Although the party line, it should be said, is that he’s focussing on his music.  

“I think it’s a bit like Chris Evans coming into Top Gear. Chris Evans is not a bad presenter – he’s amazing and one of the best – but when you fill in for someone like Jeremy Clarkson there’s very big shoes to fill,” the You Don’t Know Love singer told Total Access. “Bit like when me and Caroline did X Factor.”

On Top Gear, Evans has now seemingly left Matt LeBlanc to run things – we’ve been told not to expect a replacement on the motoring show – while O’Leary returns to do his Saturday night spin on that giant ‘X’. Murs says he thinks it’s the right move. 

“What Simon’s done is brought back a lot of the familiar faces. I’m sure it’ll be a success.”

He’s happy to see some former judges on the panel too, with Nicole Scherzinger, Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Cowell himself making up the 2016 series. 

“It’s old school – it’s a formula that’s worked before. Louis, Sharon, Simon have always done well together, they’re a funny bunch. Nicole is incredibly sexy. And obviously Dermot is ‘Mr X Factor’.”

The X Factor returns to ITV soon

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Total Access is broadcast every weekday at 7-10pm across all of Wireless Group’s local stations, and the ‘best of’ show is broadcast on Sundays at 7-9pm on Virgin Radio. Listen again at www.virginradio.co.uk