Olly Murs has said he was more nervous recording his voice role as a dog for a new Disney animated series than he gets when performing on stage to 15,000 fans.
The singer-songwriter has landed his first acting role in the Disney Channel’s new series 101 Dalmatian Street, in which he will voice a cartoon canine in a two-part episode set to air this summer.
Murs will bring to life a Cornish Doberman called Spike in the show, which is inspired by Dodie Smith’s 1956 novel and the 1961 movie 101 Dalmatians and also includes the voice work of Paloma Faith, Stephen Mangan and Miriam Margolyes.
Murs told the Press Association: “I’ve never done anything like this before. It was exciting to be a part of, and I hope to do it again.
“It’s something I’ve always been passionate about, doing acting or voiceovers.
“The weird thing is, I was more nervous doing the voiceover than I am when I’m performing in front of 15,000 people at the O2 Arena. That’s how weird it was.
“When I’m singing in front of my fans, they love me and I love them; going out there and singing is my favourite thing, it’s the best part of my job.
“But when I did the voiceover for Disney, I was so nervous because I’ve never done anything like this before.
“I’ve always thought I’d be great in an animated show or a film, but I’d never been directed in what to show or how to do things like this.”
He added: “I was more nervous being in a booth with seven or eight people when I had no idea what they were expecting me to do.”
“I was like, ‘can I do this? Are they going to be happy with it? Are they going to re-write it after I leave, thinking it was rubbish?’ You just don’t know. But ultimately I think it went well, so I’m happy.”
Essex-born Murs said he had to add a slight Cornish accent to his voice to become Spike, who he described as “a cool, fun dog with a sensitive side” and who is first seen on screen walking out of the sea.
He said: “With Spike, they wanted it to sound like me but with a slight edge.”
Viewers will see Spike across two episodes this summer when he meets the programme’s main family – who are based in London’s Camden – when they travel to Cornwall for a holiday.
Featuring 43 cast members covering more than 100 speaking roles, the modern tale will focus on dalmatians Dylan and Dolly, their parents Doug and Delilah and 97 younger puppies whose names all also begin with D.
American actors Josh Brener and Michaela Dietz will voice Dylan and Dolly, the eldest of the siblings.
Singer Faith will voice a highly strung dog named Portia Poodle, Mangan will play Doctor Dave and Margolyes will voice Bessie the Cornish Cow.
Murs, who rose to fame as the runner-up on The X Factor in 2009, said the role is hopefully “the first of many that I do”, and that he has aspirations to venture more into acting in the future.
101 Dalmatian Street premieres on Disney Channel on March 18 at 5pm.