Olly Murs pulled out of Olympic celebrations 'after being asked to change show'


Fusion Festival At Otterspool Parade, Liverpool

Singer Olly Murs has claimed he pulled out of a performance at Team GB's Olympic celebrations in Manchester on Monday because he was asked to change his show at short notice.

The singer was later photographed cheering on Manchester United as they played Liverpool at Anfield.

Olly Murs
Olly Murs (Ian West/PA)

A Manchester City Council spokesman spoke of the "disappointment" that Olly "chose not to perform" at the event and confirmed indie band Kaiser Chiefs took to the stage in his place.

Ricky Wilson of The Kaiser Chiefs performs during the Olympic and Paralympic athletes celebration parade in Manchester
Ricky Wilson from Kaiser Chiefs performs at the celebration (Martin Rickett/PA)

He added: "We have a very successful track record for working closely with major artists on events in Manchester and this is the first time an artist has pulled out.

"Last night's show was a complex event, organised at short notice, featuring hundreds of people on stage.

A general view of the Team Great Britain Gymnastic float during the Olympic and Paralympic athletes celebration parade in Manchester
Team GB's gymnastics float (Martin Rickett/PA)

"It was a fantastic show, befitting the achievement of the athletes and we are grateful to the Kaiser Chiefs for standing in at short notice."

Olly was due to perform on a number of occasions during the Team GB celebrations, which ran from 5.30pm to 6.30pm. The Premier League match kicked off at 8pm.

Great Britain's (left-right) Ellie Simmonds, Ellie Robinson and Alice Tai during the Olympic and Paralympic athletes celebration parade in Manchester
Medal winners (left to right) Ellie Simmonds, Ellie Robinson and Alice Tai (Martin Rickett/PA)

A spokeswoman for Olly told the Press Association: "Olly was asked to play the Olympic and Paralympic parade in Manchester on Monday and, as a huge supporter of the Olympics, agreed wholeheartedly.

"Sadly, after weeks of preparation, 24 hours before the parade, he was told to completely change what had been agreed with his performance and, as such, his team made the decision to pull him from the show."

Fans posted photos of Olly at the game on social media and on Tuesday afternoon he appeared on Facebook Live with former United and England defender Rio Ferdinand, when he confirmed attending the game.

During the Facebook Live, Ferdinand asked the Heart Skips A Beat singer where he had been on Monday night, with Olly initially telling him: "I weren't anywhere last night", prompting the former footballer to ask him again. Olly then replied: "I was watching the Manchester United-Liverpool game."

Despite Olly's absence, the hour-long city centre parade of floats saw several hundred of Britain's sporting heroes and an estimated 200,000 fans come together to revel in the summer of success.

ebecca Ferguson sings on stage during the Olympic and Paralympic athletes celebration parade in Manchester.
(Tim Goode/PA)

Kaiser Chiefs were joined by Rebecca Ferguson to provide entertainment to the athletes in Albert Square, while the action was relayed on big screens elsewhere in the city centre.