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Is anybody out there?



He lives with his parents, goes out with his mates on a Saturday night and "hasn't had a regular girlfriend for ages."

No wonder millions of fans are bombarding Twitter and Facebook telling pop star Olly Murs that his co-presenter on TV's Extra Factor show, Caroline Flack, is the perfect girl for him — and it's time he did something about it!  

"Everyone in the world, including both our parents, want Olly and I to become an item," says 33-year-old Caroline." People in the street shout: 'Why don't you marry Olly?' We are just really good friends, but no one will accept that not even my mum!"

 Olly, 28, whose new album Right Place, Right Time, and his single Troublemaker, have both soared to the top of the charts, also claims that while Caroline is "really attractive, lovely, funny," they haven't yet been on a date.

So how does he explain spending 2,000 pounds on a Miu Miu coat for Caroline's birthday? "It was to show how much I appreciate what she has done to make Extra Factor a success. I wouldn't have lasted two seasons on the show if it wasn't for Caroline being so good!"

"The truth is I'm too busy for a serious relationship at the moment," says Olly, who was runner-up in the 2009 X Factor competition, and has confounded the critics who predicted he would vanish without trace after the X Factor." Who cares who comes second?" seemed to be the popular view.

An Essex boy,he was working as an energy advisor in a call centre when  he was persuaded by his mother to enter the 2009 X Factor competition.

"My real ambition was always to be a soccer star," Olly says he played for a local semi-professional club and joining Manchester United was always a dream.

"Singing was just something I did as a hobby and then suddenly it changed my life for ever," he says. But not all that much!

Olly still lives at home with his parents "they've given me a bigger bedroom with a double bed!"

Olly co-wrote his new hit single. He remembers: "I sat down with  my record label, and they said: 'We don't want to change the way you look. It's all about finding your sound and where we want to go with it.'

"It would have been easy to bring out a Robbie Williams-style track but this is something completely different.

"I'm the sort of guy who thinks outside the box. I'm was never a typical X Factor contestant.
Olly says that after the X Factor final all the hype stops virtually overnight. "But in another way, it's just a start. Simon Cowell said to me: 'You've finished second on the biggest show on TV and we've given you the chance to have a career. Go and make it.

"We do stay in contact. I didn't expect him to be my best friend for life, but we spoke last week and he seems really excited about the new album and single."

During the crazy days of the X Factor, Olly's name was linked with rival finalist Stacey Solomon but the two rarely meet nowadays.

Olly says that he still finds it hard to believe that girls find him attractive." I always have in the back of my head the idea that they wouldn't look at me twice if I hadn't been on the X Factor."

"I'm really shy when it comes to girls I fancy. For instance, I couldn't  talk to Cheryl Cole for the life of me! She'd come and talk to me backstage and I couldn't string a sentence together."

Despite his fame and fortune, Olly has no plans to leave his Essex home or change his domestic lifestyle. "My  mum was really worried when I got into show-business.

"She was worried about all the drugs and drinking that went on, but I assured her it wouldn't happen to me and it hasn't."

 How would Olly feel if his dream career suddenly ended? "I've kept all my friends and my family so if it all came to an end I'd probably go down to my local boozer and do gigs," he says.

"I could still earn money that way  and also get myself a nine-to-five job somewhere. I wouldn't be scared to do that."

Of course, none of his fans think it will come to that — and,if he's honest, Olly probably doesn't think so either!

In the meantime fans haven't given up hope that the Olly-Caroline story will have a happy ending. You can't currently get 20-1 odds at the bookie's that Olly will be popping the question before the end of 2013! (Tony James Feature Judson Bennett/Tony James Features)

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