ONE of the UK’s most popular performers, Olly Murs, is playing at Haydock Racecourse this Friday (August 11).

Since Olly shot to fame on X Factor eight years ago, he has had four number one albums, including his most recent – 24.

The concert will follow an afternoon of racing, with Olly coming on stage around 8.30pm.

Speaking earlier this summer Olly said: “Playing live is, for me, the best thing about this job. I just love it.”

Now 33, Olly got his major break by finishing runner-up on the sixth series of X Factor in 2009 won by Joe McElderry.

“Getting to number one isn’t everything,” he said, “and when 24 came out it was around Christmas when there were so many amazing artists with new releases.

“So for me to get my fourth number one album at that time was a real credit to the fans.”

I’m very lucky and hopefully the next album will go to number one too!”

As well as becoming one of the most successful solo recording artists Olly has also become a successful TV presenter, including a stint on X Factor.

“People often ask me about whether I feel I’ve shaken off the X Factor tag,” he said. “To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever bothered about shaking anything off. I’ve always thought ‘it is what it is’.”

“I certainly don’t ever regret where I have come from. X Factor was an amazing platform for me and an amazing start to my career - I’ll never forget it.”

Olly even looks back to his early X Factor appearances on the current tour performing Superstition, his audition piece for the TV show.

“I do a reference to Superstition in one of my songs,” said Olly. “It’s a reference to where I came from.

“I think that it’s important for everyone not to forget where they came from. It’s what keeps me grounded.

“It gave me such an amazing opportunity. But having said that, it’s nice not to just be the guy off X Factor. It’s nice to be known as Olly Murs as me rather than Olly Murs the guy from Factor.”

Olly’s summer tour followed on almost immediately from a sold-out arena tour and while many artists may have baulked at such a heavy schedule, Olly is relishing it.

“Even with the X Factor when I came on stage I came alive and people can see that,” he said. “It gives me more satisfaction than anything else.

“All the other stuff I get to do sometimes bores me but when I’m on stage, I love performing.

“That’s why this summer tour is so important to me.

“Don’t get me wrong, the arena tour was amazing but for me it’s about getting out to parts of the country I haven’t seen before and getting to meet fans who maybe can’t travel and get to an arena.”

Olly’s tour finally finishes at the end of August but he’s remaining coy about what he’ll be doing next.

“I’m not going to rush the next album, I’m going to take my time with it and the fans will know when I decide.”

Tickets at