Olly Murs: We are here to talk about the waxwork NOT X factor

Olly Murs with waxwork

Catching up over dinner and a beer before a visit to the Comedy Store last week, Craig (MG Editor) invited me to cover Olly Murs at Madame Tussauds in Blackpool. The chart topper would be unveiling his waxwork on Monday at 4pm, with the proviso of press passes for my 13 and 9 year old girls - I accepted.


11:45am Press passes confirmed and with two very excited children; we jumped in the car and left our home town of Barrow-in-Furness - all giddy and ready to meet Mr. Murs and his waxy doppelganger.


Wetter than an Otters pocket... Despite the weather there was a healthy crowd gathering outside the venue, hungry for a glimpse of the superstar, we milled around for a bit doing our best to escape the sideways rain until one of the bouncers came over to assert his authority:


“Can`t stand here”


“I`m with the press mate, with Manchester Gossip” I replied hopefully.


“OK come with me pal”


Bingo, he whisked the three of us through a side door where we would be given our Press Passes – then we carry on through the gift shop to wait with the other journalists. Submerged in a sea of SLR cameras, some - bigger than my arm, the seasoned professionals casually chat about who was covering his tour and which newspaper had the latest scoop.


“He`s in the air, he`s just landed, he is on route” came the cries.



Everyone was kept informed as to Olly`s where abouts and the crowd outside were whipped into a frenzy when the man finally arrived and they received their momentary reward – I heard the screams carried all the way to Fleetwood!


He spent a full 5 minutes in the rain with his fans (fair play to him for that) and then we were ushered up the stairs in Tussauds into the room where his new work of art would join the likes of Cheryl Fernandez-and Simon Cowell plus many many more.


The place was heaving and all the best slots had been taken up long before we arrived, we were left to stand at the side as he was introduced the waiting masses.


The next five minutes were spent with lights flashing and lots of "here Olly, look left Olly, look right Olly, smile Olly"… to which the consummate professional duly obliged, seemingly loving every minute of it, “I’m smiling like a Cheshire Cat” he told the flash mob.


he wasn't keen to discuss this and brushed off one Daily mirror reporter by saying “We are here to talk about the waxwork not X factor”


Next, an interview with Granada television followed by questions from all the journos. The news had just broke and they were all very keen to talk to him about X Factor and the rumors that he was set to replace Dermot O Leary as the main presenter but he wasn`t keen to discuss this and brushed off one Daily mirror reporter by saying “We are here to talk about the waxwork not X factor”. PR people then instructed there would be no more questions about X factor only the wax model but when it continued they were told quite forcefully you have one question left, I was just about to shout my name to ask it but my 13 year old daughter squeezed my hand and whispered “don`t dad, you`ll only embarrass me” and just as quickly - I missed my moment and we were then all shown the door.


It was a cracking experience, one which I might never get the chance to do again but i think my 9 year old daughter summed it up the best. She said “we drove 2 hours to get there, waited an hour to meet him, spent 15 minutes in a room with him and then got asked to leave by an angry lady”. Kids eh!




About the Author: My name is Steve Helling I am a 43 year old project engineer who has been friends with Craig Nelson (Manchester Gossip) for more than 30 years, we first met on a family holiday in Magalluf when we were 11 and we have been good friends ever since.



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