Olly Murs was offered £3 million to return to 'The X Factor' - but was dropped in favour of Robbie Williams.

Olly Murs

Olly Murs

The 34-year-old singer shot to fame when he came second on the talent contest in 2009 and returned as co-host of spin off 'The Xtra Factor' from 2011-2012 before fronting the main show with Caroline Flack in 2015, but was axed after just one series.

However, he's remained friends with Simon Cowell and the show boss was keen to have him back to the programme - but when Robbie indicated he was keen to sign on for the panel, Olly was cut adrift.

A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "We're all huge fans of Olly's, but Robbie is one of the biggest stars in the world.

"When the opportunity came for him to join, we couldn't pass it up."

Simon was said to have been so keen to land Olly, he even agreed the 'Troublemaker' hitmaker could keep his coaching role on rival show 'The Voice'.

The source added: "Olly said he'd do 'X Factor' on the condition he could stay on 'The Voice', which he loves."

However, bosses on the other programme weren't convinced and planned to drop him from his spot in the spinning chairs as they worried viewers would get tired of him so are said to be "high-fiving" each other following the news Olly has missed out on 'The X Factor' gig.

Meanwhile, Robbie - who is rumoured to be signing up for 'X Factor' along with his wife Ayda Field - recently insisted his place on the panel hasn't been agreed yet, though he has been spending a lot of time with Simon and his partner Lauren Silverman because his kids Teddy, five, and Charlton, three, and friends with their four-year-old son Eric.

He said: "I've read these reports too and I would understand, because I've read the articles too, that people would think I'm doing 'The X Factor' and so is my wife. As it happens people say it every year and I always say 'no comment'.

"There's a lot of me that would love to do it, there's a lot of talking but nothing has been signed. Me and Simon and Lauren and my kids and little Eric hang out a lot and we talk about a lot of things. Nothing is signed, but watch this space."