Interview: Olly Murs on itv's The Voice UK

The search for a new vocal superstar is back as The Voice UK returns to ITV in 2018.

Pop sensation Olly Murs joins Jennifer Hudson, Sir Tom Jones and will.i.am to complete the superstar panel of coaches – and Emma Willis is back as presenter. New coach Olly is no stranger to talent shows, first finding fame on The X Factor, where he came second in 2009. He has gone on to sell more than 17 million records worldwide and notched upfour UK No.1 albums and four No.1 singles. His most recent album 24 Hrs hit the No.1 spot in November 2016 while in 2017 he played two consecutive tours selling in excess of 600,000 tickets.

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How does it feel joining The Voice UK as a coach?

It feels amazing. It is incredible to be part of such an amazing show and a show that I have watched from afar for many years. I am really enjoying being part of such a fun, exciting show, it is brilliant.

What’s it like being the new boy on the panel?

It is mad. When I first started I was really nervous to be the new member, it is like being in a new class at a new school with all new kids, I have got all these new people to meet and they all know each other and they have got to get to know me. Will they like me or not? I don’t know, but I have settled in brilliantly. I was really nervous to start off but everyone is really lovely and the whole team is great to work with and they have made me feel really welcome. They are really fun.

Are some of the other coaches on the panel playing games with you?

I think Will is probably the most competitive that I saw, he was trying to get into my head and trying to convince me to turn when maybe I shouldn’t but that is what it is all about. It is all fun and games and I think especially when you are on The Voice UK it becomes ultra-competitive because one of us is going to win the show with the team we have got and obviously we all want to have a really good team and we all want to win. I think there is always going to be that nice little competitive edge and I think Will always brings that. I love it, it is all banter for me, I like it when people are testing me out and having fun with me, it is great.

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Have you got a strategy to win?

No I haven’t at all! My strategy is just to pick a really good team and I think everyone on the panel just wants to find a star, that is what it is all about and to give our knowledge and advice and try and coach a big star. That is the whole point and hopefully give these guys the opportunity that we were given. That is the only strategy I have. It is very difficult, maybe ask me next year and I will maybe have a different strategy if I am doing the show because I’ll probably have a bit more experience but at the moment it is just about picking the right team. I am just really happy that we have all got really good teams and really strong singers.

You have come from a talent show background yourself, does that help you on the panel?

Yeah of course, it helps me to be able to give the contestants my advice and they also know I have been through that experience and I can help and guide them with that. If they have any questions they want to ask I can help them. But when they get to the later stages of the competition it is really about picking the right songs and that is what I want to try and get across to them. I hope they have the confidence in me to help them with that but they also need to know themselves and find themselves as an artist. I definitely think that the experiences I have had doing reality TV shows will definitely help them and that I have had such a successful career coming from a reality TV show, not many people get that opportunity so I am very lucky that I am part of that group. Is it good to be back on Saturday night TV on ITV? Yeah of course, I love the ITV audience and they obviously know me really well over the years being involved heavily with The X Factor. It is going to be great to be in people’s homes on a Saturday night again. Hopefully they will really enjoy this series just as much as I have loved being involved in it. I think it is going to be a fantastic year, I am feeling really confident and excited about it. I can’t wait for people to watch it.

Who would you say is your main competition on the panel?

I think it has to be Jennifer. She was the winner last time, the one to beat. Myself, Tom and Will, we have just been all about beating Jennifer Hudson as we can’t let her win again! She has been the one we are all up against.