Singer who replaced Olly Murs at Take That concert thought offer was a ‘joke’


A Scottish singer plucked from obscurity at the last minute to replace Olly Murs as the opening act for Take That in Glasgow has told Sky News he thought the life-changing opportunity was a “joke”.

Daniel Rooney, 26, was playing at the Radisson Red hotel opposite the OVO Hydro when news broke that Murs was forced to cancel his support act on Friday due to transport issues.

TV presenter Ross King, who was enjoying a family dinner at the hotel, was impressed with Mr Rooney’s vocals and recommended the singer to his friend and Take That frontman Gary Barlow.

With 30 minutes to go before the show was due to start, Mr Rooney was quickly whisked to the arena and opened the festivities with a range of upbeat cover songs.

Barlow later thanked him on Instagram.

(left-right) Howard Donald, Gary Barlow and Mark Owen of Take That during day two of Capital's Jingle Bell Ball with Barclaycard at London's O2 Arena. Picture date: Sunday December 10, 2023.
Take That: Howard Donald, Gary Barlow and Mark Owen. Pic: PA

Mr Rooney, from Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire, told Sky News he thought it was a wind-up at first.

He said: “I was thinking, ‘right, who’s trying to play a wee joke on me here’. But thankfully it wasn’t a joke and Ross King was saying, ‘I’ve got an opportunity of a lifetime here, Danny boy, so are you up for it?’

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“And I was.”

Mr Rooney started to feel a mixture of emotions on his way to the stage. As well as excitement, he began to feel apprehensive about what he was going to play.

He said: “I was obviously buzzing just to get that news. It was just mental.

“I had a wee discussion with the boys from Take That, who were brilliant and really good with me.

“We just agreed on making it really fun and making the songs nice big singalongs.

“It was just really great. The crowd were brilliant, and they sang to every song and the feedback was magic.”

Mr Rooney paid tribute to Mr King for the opportunity and thanked him for his warm introduction onstage to explain the situation to the crowd.

Speaking to Sky News, Mr King said: “I was listening to [Mr Rooney] while I was having dinner and was very impressed – never thinking that 30 minutes later I’d be saying ‘come with me and support Take That’.

“Gary Barlow is one of my closest pals and I’ve known the band since 1990. When Gary called me and said ‘you’re going to have to go on, Olly is stuck in London’, I thought it was a wind-up. But no.”

Mr King agreed to go on, but then pitched the idea of Mr Rooney.

Mr King added: “Daniel was the coolest guy in the Hydro and played a blinder. I was thrilled to share the stage with him and help out my old mates too.

“I know this has made news all around the world, so I hope Daniel continues to have the success he deserves.”

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Mr Rooney now intends to head into the studio to record some music.

He added: “I’ve got some ideas and demos there, so this is the opportunity to get them out now and just really capitalise on the moment.”

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Olly Murs performs during the Coronation Concert held in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Berkshire, to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. Picture date: Sunday May 7, 2023.
Olly Murs. Pic: PA

Murs apologised for cancelling his performance at short notice after falling foul of flight issues.

The former X Factor star said he had been at Heathrow from 11am ahead of his performance on Friday night, but the flight was cancelled after “several delays” and an accident with a cabin crew member.

He later shared a video of himself being driven to Glasgow for his Saturday and Sunday performances.

Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine programme on Monday, Murs paid tribute to Mr Rooney for holding his nerve and being able to perform in front of an arena crowd of thousands with just 30 minutes’ notice.

Murs said: “Fair play to him, that’s amazing. You know what, credit to him.”

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