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No regrets for O'Brien as he looks towards European return

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Olly Murs has said he had a “fling” with TV presenter Melanie Sykes, and that it was a “bit of fun”.

The new coach on ITV’s The Voice UK said it was a “shock” when reports emerged about a relationship between himself and Sykes, but admitted they had only been out together a few times.

Murs, 33, told Fabulous magazine: “It was a shock when that came out because I haven’t seen Mel since May.

“We’ve had the odd text, but I’ve not seen her.”

Melanie Sykes (Ian West/PA)

He added: “At the start of the year we had a bit of a fling, but that’s all it was. We went out a couple of times and had a few drinks. It was a bit of fun.

“I wouldn’t say we were dating, but we get on well. She came to my tour, we had a bit of a laugh and it was never anything serious.”

Murs said: “To say we were dating for over a year? Come on, that’s not the truth. Me and Melanie are not together. We knew each other well and had seen each other at various events. She liked my new album and that was it.”

He added that Sykes, 47, is “an amazing person” and “gorgeous”, but that they were never a “serious” couple.

Olly Murs on The Voice UK (ITV)

Murs, who added he is currently single, said that his new role on The Voice UK – alongside Tom Jones, Jennifer Hudson and Will.i.am – has given him “a really nice opportunity to go there and be myself with no barriers”.

He made his debut in the launch programme on Saturday night.

“I was very much told that I couldn’t say this or joke about that,” he said, of his role as a presenter on The X Factor alongside Caroline Flack in 2015.

He said: “We’d have script meetings and I’d have an idea for a joke or a reference to Simon (Cowell) or one of the judges to make it a bit more light-hearted, but I was limited in what I could say and do.”

Murs said that joining The Voice UK is “one of the best choices I’ve ever made”.

“One of the best things I’ve done in my career,” he added.