Olly Murs pulled out of Olympic celebrations 'after being asked to change show'
Published 18/10/2016 | 17:16
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.
A Manchester City Council spokesman spoke of the "disappointment" felt that Murs "chose not to perform" at the event and confirmed indie band Kaiser Chiefs took to the stage in his place.
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.
"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."
Murs 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.
A spokeswoman for Murs 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 Murs at the game on social media, and on Tuesday afternoon he appeared in a Facebook live with former Man United and England defender Rio Ferdinand, where 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 Murs initially telling him "I weren't anywhere last night", prompting the former footballer to ask him again. Murs then replied: "I was watching Manchester United Liverpool game."
Despite Murs' absence, the hour-long city centre parade of floats saw several hundred of Britain's sporting heroes and an adoring public - a predicted 200,000 - come together to revel in the summer of success.
Kaiser Chiefs were joined by Rebecca Ferguson to provide entertainment to the athletes in Albert Square, w hile the action was relayed on big screens elsewhere in the city centre.