Rio 2016: Olly Murs in row over Manchester parade show
Olly Murs cancelled his Olympic and Paralympic parade show performance in Manchester after being told to change his set, his management has claimed.
A spokesman for the former X-Factor star said he was told to “completely change” his set 24 hours before the Rio 2016 homecoming party.
Management said it was decided he would quit the show as a result.
Manchester City Council said Murs” absence was the first time an artist had pulled out of an event.
The council originally said the call centre worker-turned-singer withdrew due to “unforeseen circumstances”, prompting the Kaiser Chiefs to step in to play to thousands of people who gathered in Albert Square to greet the Olympic heroes.
A council statement said: “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.”
The council also said the show was complex and organised at “short notice with hundreds of people on the stage”.
Press and social media reported the singer, whose hits include Troublemaker, was attending the Liverpool v Manchester United Premier League game.
It prompted Manchester councillor Pat Karney to tweet: “Lets just say we won”t be asking him to switch on our Christmas lights. Not impressed. pk.”
Murs” management confirmed they withdrew the singer from the show because of a late change.
“Olly was asked to play the Olympic and Paralympic parade in Manchester on Monday and as a huge supporter of the Olympics agreed wholeheartedly,” said a statement.
It added: “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 Murs at the game on social media, and on Tuesday he appeared on Facebook Live with former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand, where he confirmed attending the game.
Ferdinand asked the Heart Skips A Beat singer where he had been on Monday night, to which he eventually replied: “I was watching [the] Manchester United Liverpool game.”
More than 400 athletes from Rio 2016 gathered on stage in Manchester for the city”s homecoming party.
The hour-long city centre parade of floats saw a predicted 200,000 come together to revel in the summer”s success.