Olly Murs has shared details of a tribute written about him by his former co-presenter Caroline Flack, in which she described him as like a “soulmate”.
Singer Murs presented two series of The Xtra Factor spin-off show with Flack, along with one series of the main X Factor show, between 2011 and 2015.
Speaking on reality TV star Jamie Laing’s podcast Private Parts, he became emotional as he told how the TV presenter had written a tribute to him as a message of support for his concert tour in 2018 and 2019.
“I’m really trying to keep it together here,” he told the podcast host as he fought back tears.
Flack, who also presented Love Island and won Strictly Come Dancing in 2014, took her own life aged 40 in February 2020.
Reading the passage written by her, Murs said: “When I met Olly for the first time it felt like I had met my soulmate. Not in a weird way, it was just like meeting someone I’d known all my life.
“I’ve never laughed as much as I did in 2011 when we first hosted The Xtra Factor together and that experience will always stay with me forever.”
Despite becoming tearful, he continued reading Flack’s words: “He’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever met in my whole life and he puts 100% into everything he does.
“He keeps the whole team going and for that I forgive him for his dad jokes.”
In the podcast interview, Murs said he was still processing his friend’s death nearly three years on.
Speaking about her final years, he said: “Knowing obviously the pain she must have been in to take her own life, to hear her say ‘I’ve never laughed as much as I did in 2011’ and that memory of us being together was one of the moments.
“Just little things like that…”
Read more: ‘She really did find heartbreak impossible’: Caroline Flack’s family share her story in documentary
Murs said that following Flack’s death he would look back through their messages to each other and listen to her voice notes, but had since stopped as it made him too emotional.
While he said he had deleted some messages, he said he had kept certain photos and fan gifts to remember her by.
Following Flack’s death, Murs said his heart was “broken forever” as he paid tribute to the star.
In July, he performed at Flackstock, a festival celebrating the TV presenter’s life and raising money for mental health charities.
Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email [email protected] in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK