the internet

Happy One-Year Anniversary of Olly Murs' Terror Scare

Nothing funnier has happened since Murs tweeted about "gunshots" on Black Friday 2017 (turned out to have been a fight on the Tube).
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB
November 23, 2018, 1:31pm
Olly Murs' Black Friday 2017 terror tweet
Screenshot via Twitter

It is Black Friday. You are probably already sick of your email inbox, of brands trying to be your friend (“Hey girl! We got u this Black Friday: 20 percent off belts and gloves”), and of the very concept of block capitals. If you are like me, a moron, you spent all of your money in three days at the beginning of the month (“Uber everywhere!” –– you, 30 October 2018, somehow also holding the seven pints you just bought), so now you are at work glowering at your one colleague who keeps refreshing Amazon on their phone and has said the word “deals” 250 times since 9AM.


Thus, you are miserable. Please allow me to lift your spirits: it is important to remember that this Black Friday is different. It is not simply a day invented by capitalism and imported from America to get you to consume. It is also – and you must listen very closely to me here – it is also almost exactly the one-year anniversary of when Olly Murs tweeted that shots had been fired in Selfridges on London's Oxford Street on Black Friday 2017, and in doing so may or may not have single-handedly caused a terror scare, which, on balance, a year on, remains a valid candidate for the funniest thing that has ever happened in Great Britain or indeed anywhere. A reminder of those tweets, some of the finest ever sent:

(Murs, it must be noted, is a master of comic sentence structure and should really have my job.)

And finally, in manner of someone who has, blissfully, not yet realised what he has done:

It is deeply, gut-wrenchingly British that Olly Murs of all people should have made this happen. Only in the UK could this man – known for coming second on The X Factor, and later hosting The X Factor before being let go after one series, and who is solely responsible for the proliferation of knitted polo tops for men – wield enough influence to cause a national panic. We are so lucky that he did.

To give him his due, Murs maintains that he heard gunshots, and has publicly accused the Met Police of staging a coverup to quell public concern. He also became embroiled in a beef with Piers Morgan, who at the time chided him for terrifying his followers (their short conversation marks the only known occasion when anyone reasonable has ever agreed with Piers Morgan, research claims). Murs, however, despite having misinformed a nation, did actually victor over Morgan in their exchange, managing to craft the single greatest opener of all time:

“Listen, piers!”

Happy Black Friday, which really should be renamed Olly Murs Day. Don’t be sad it’s over. Be glad it happened.