Abz from 90s boyband 5ive is offered £1million for his Brit Award on eBay
Published 09/09/2015 | 12:22
A million pound bid has been placed on eBay for former 5ive boyband member Abz's Brit Award, leaving the star wondering if the offer is a hoax.
The one-time pop star put his Newcomer: Best Pop Act trophy on the auction site to raise funds for soil and gardening tools for his smallholding in Wales.
Listing the award with 99p start price at 8am on Monday morning the singer watched the bids roll in and reach £1,000,000 while he was being interviewed on the phone by The Press Association.
When he was told the latest figure Abz said: "Oh my God - I don't know what to say. It has to be a hoax - it can't be real.
"I don't need a million quid! I feel light-headed. All I needed was a bit of soil and it's gone nuts.
"I better get in touch with eBay - that's a lot of soil!"
The 36-year-old, whose real name is Richard Abidin Breen, now lives in Carmarthenshire, Mid Wales, with his 31-year-old partner Vicky Fallon.
Reacting to the interest shown on eBay she said: "It's life-changing for us because we've been struggling and it will mean we can do all the things we haven't been able to afford to do until now."
Abz has so far sold his Rolex watch, Louis Vuitton luggage and diamond stud earrings to fund his attempt at a self-sufficient lifestyle but he had, up until this point, refused to sell his Brit Award.
"It's always been something I've taken with me along the journey, even when I was broke. But then I was looking at it one day - we use it as a doorstop - and I thought that it is so under-appreciated by me now I might as well put it up for auction too.
"Maybe I'll start a trend for other struggling pop stars."
Abz says he hasn't worked for around 10 months since quitting 5ive via Twitter on August 28 last year.
When asked what his former band mates think of his decision to sell the award, Abz admitted he no longer speaks to them: "We haven't spoken since I left the band and I don't think they like me very much.
"But I bet they are all looking at their Brit Awards now though and thinking 'I bet I can buy a car or send my kid to private school!'"
Abz, Ritchie, Scott and Sean reunited without their bandmate J in 2012 to film ITV2's Big Reunion alongside other 90's groups like Atomic Kitten and Liberty X.
They then went on to headline their own 5ive Greatest Hits Tour in 2013.
But Abz says he got stuck in a life of "sex, drugs, rock and roll, and partying with royalty" and ended up feeling that he just needed to "get back to nature".
Now a vegan who tries to grow everything he eats, Abz has eschewed modern life and proudly declares he is "off the grid" for gas, oil and water and has no TV or wifi connection at his home.
"I am just letting the universe guide me", he said.
In 2000, the year 5ive won the award, the band opened the Brits alongside rock legends Queen and went on to reach number one for their version of We Will Rock You.
It's a night Abz says he will never forget but his priorities have changed.
"I need to buy soil and pay back my mum. I owe her a few quid by now."