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In 2008, he travelled to Australia, backpacking alone along the east coast for three months.
He first came to national attention for coming second in the sixth series of The X Factor in 2009.Murs later released his fifth studio album, 24 Hrs, which debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart.where he was a striker in the school's football team.In 2009, Murs auditioned for the sixth series of The X Factor, performing Stevie Wonder's "Superstition".Judge Simon Cowell said it was "the easiest yes I've ever given". On the first live show, he sang "She's the One" and on the second, "A Fool in Love", a performance which Cowell described as being "in a different league." For week three he took on "Bewitched".In November 2010, Murs released his self-titled debut album, Olly Murs, which entered the UK Albums Chart at number two, with the biggest week one album sales for a debut album in 2010, with over 108,000 albums sold.
The album went on to sell over 600,000 copies, and was certified double platinum by the BPI.
He went to school with Next of Kin and played semi-professionally for Isthmian Division One North side Witham Town between 20.
He excelled for the club's reserve team during the 2006/07 season, scoring 12 goals in 13 appearances and winning the Ridgeons Reserve Teams Cup.
He also appeared on the game show Deal or No Deal in 2007, where he won £10.
Murs returned for a celebrity version of the show in 2012, which made him the only person to appear on it twice.
In the final on 12 December, he repeated his audition song, "Superstition", following which Cowell said putting him in the final 12 was "the best risk I have ever taken in my life".