It’s been almost a decade since Olly Murs and his twin brother Ben last spoke, with Olly today claiming his sibling has even changed his number to avoid contact.
Admitting he’d love nothing more than to make peace, the TV host said he recently tried to reach out but claimed his brother had changed his number.
"It’s mad because every year I think about it, (will it be) 9 years, 10 years,’ he told ITV’s Lorraine.
"I did text him for his birthday but he changed his number."
But what happened to drive the once inseparable twins so far apart?
It all dates back to 2009 when Olly skipped Ben’s wedding and best man duties to compete in The X Factor semi-final, prompting his brother to brand him a "self-obsessed sell out".
- Olly Murs claims twin brother ‘changed his number’ after years of feuding
Ben and Olly Murs
Olly Murs pictured in the 2009 X Factor alongside Stacey Solomon and Joe Mcelderry
“Our family was torn apart because of X Factor," Ben raged in 2009.
"It was clear that people like Simon Cowell were more important to him than me.”
But Olly previously claimed their relationship was troubled for a long time before the show even entered into it.
“I don’t speak to my twin brother and that’s been extremely difficult. Long before X Factor there were problems between Ben and his girlfriend and our family," he told the Sunday Times Magazine.
“His wedding was his excuse for not having me in his life anymore… I don’t think she ever liked us as a family.”
It wasn’t just Olly who Ben cut ties with, but also their parents, who he claimed had been changed by ‘fame and greed’.
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The twins were inseparable as children
(Image: Peter Lawson/Eastnews Press Agen)
He was so keen to distance himself that he even took his wife’s surname, Hart, when they married, and reacted with fury when mum Vicky gave an interview about the ‘learning difficulties’ he experienced as a child.
"My parents wanted this bright, shiny Olly with the money who can give them the VIP lifestyle. They liked hanging around with Simon Cowell , or going to Bon Jovi concerts – they loved their VIP selfies," Ben blasted.
"I’m not interested in anything like that, I have a lovely life with my wife and kids. I’ve worked hard, been to university and got a degree, I’ve never wanted anything from Olly.
"I can’t believe what my mum did by talking about my childhood. I was so upset when I read it. Why has my mum, the person who should defend me, said things that are hurtful and untrue?"
For her part, Vicky, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said the trauma of the fall out left her too sick to work.
Olly and his mum at the X Factor house in 2009
Olly and Ben now haven’t spoken for nine years
“It was such a shock it made me ill. I even thought I had MS – I had to use a walking stick because my legs were so weak. I also couldn’t work. I was on the verge of a breakdown," she told the Sunday Times Magazine.
“I’m much better now but my heart is broken.
"Ben’s broken my heart, and his dad’s, but I will not hear anything against him, I don’t think he understands what he’s done.
"I’ll go on loving him and sticking up for him until I die.”
As for whether they’ll ever make friends, Ben said he extended an olive branch to Olly after the birth of his son in 2013, but claimed his estranged sibling told him to delete his number.
Olly branded his claims ‘inconsistent’.
Then when he admitted he hoped to make peace in 2017, Ben declined, insisting, "I’ve moved on."
"I wish him all the best. But I’ve got my life and he’s got his. The last time I made contact I got the door slammed in my face," he told the Sunday People.
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