Olly Murs got a great big Belfast welcome yesterday.
The ever-stylish Essex boy — in town as part of the X Factor live tour — took time out from his schedule for a performance at the new Republic shop in CastleCourt yesterday.
Up to 200 fans turned out to watch him sing songs from the 2009 series — with many queuing outside the shop from 6am.
It didn’t matter to them that the 25-year-old cheeky chappy lost out in the final to Geordie lad Joe McElderry. As far as they were concerned, there was only one winner.
Christine Bailie and Leanne Taggart, both 24, from Greyabbey, got up at 3am to book their place at the front of the queue to meet their idol.
Christine said: “We followed him during the X Factor and were really disappointed when he didn’t win. He should have, because he’s a born entertainer and a great singer.
Leanne added: “He’s also really hot and there’s no way we were going to miss him.”
When the doors opened shortly after 10am Murs mania set in as the fans rushed up to the front of the shop to get as near to the singer as possible.
To deafening cheers he was introduced on stage — wearing his trademark skinny jeans and tops from the store’s new menswear range Fabric — to perform a four-song set.
Speaking after, Murs said: “We had a brilliant time last night. The crowd was amazing and we got a great reception. It’s lovely to be here today to be able to perform for the people who supported me on the X Factor.”