The Irish duo are the sensation of Britain's X factor Show and are huge media personalities over there. Here is the idiot's guide:

John and Edward Grimes were born on October 16, 1991, at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin. John is the older, by 10 minutes.
They were premature at 28 weeks, and weighed just 2lb each.

Their father John said: “They were so small and fragile, but thankfully they pulled through. They have always had a bond and I think it goes right back to that.”

The boys grew up in Kildare, with their brother Kevin, who is a year older.

They were boarders at the exclusive The King's Hospital, a private £6,000-a-year school, in Dublin, until they were 12. John claims they were bullied.

Their parents split up and they now live with their mother in Lucan, a suburb of Dublin. Their mother told the Daily Mail they were “music mad” and love Robbie Williams and the Backstreet Boys.

Best quote: asked where they see themselves in 10 years, they responded “older.”

Their school principal says it is all an act. “It’s a bit staged because they're not arrogant. I've never had a second of trouble from them and the teachers love them.”

“Their look is based on the eighties, which were in turn inspired by the fifties, so there's the quiff, the jackets and drainpipes,” says designer Faye Sawyer.

Teenyboppers love them. Hundreds of teen girls have been camped outside the house they are staying in for weeks.

John says: “We get hate mail and vicious letters. Some is so bad X Factor haven't let us see it. It's hard when we have to go out and perform and be happy and confident and smiley because we know if we slip up they'll come after us. We know a lot of people hate us. I get so upset by it I can't sleep. It goes round and round in my head.

"We've had a gang come up to us in the street, saying, 'There's those twins' and they came after us. We had to run away. Edward was shaken and upset. I had to calm him down and tell him not to think about it.”

Recently their mentor Louis Walsh became upset by the booing of the duo during their acts.

He said: “They were calling them awful things. It's not a football match. John and Edward's family are there.” He added: “It's just a small handful of people in the audience shouting obscenities. I wasn't letting them get away with it. It's not right. The boys are only just 18.”

Ronan Keating, Bono, Colin Farrell are supporters – as is everyone in Ireland.