Inside Gogglebox Mel C's relationship with her brother Paul after he was abused for being Sporty Spice's sibling

MEL C and her little brother Paul O'Neill made their debut on Celebrity Gogglebox last night.

The Spice Girls star and her half-brother delighted fans with their sweet relationship.

But the siblings haven't always been so close – Paul used to get abused for being Sporty Spice's little brother but she later saved his life.

Melanie, 47, and Paul, 41, are half-siblings as they have the same mother but different fathers.

Although Mel C is the Spice Girl of the family, Paul has also made a name for himself as a British motor racing driver and pundit.

Mel previously opened up about being a big sister and admitted she didn't like babysitting her "annoying" brother.

"Being the older sister, I was often roped in for babysitting and, my God, Paul could be annoying," she told The Times.

"I’d be up in my bedroom with my mates and he’d just burst in and do a massive fart.

"Looking back, I feel terrible ’cos I really did used to beat him up.

"I’d punch him with all my might, but he’d just laugh at me. And fart some more."

But as they got older it was Mel C that annoyed her younger brother.

"Some of those early Spice Girls songs are classics, but I grew to hate Wannabe," he said.

"I was at college and all the people I hung around with started taking the p**s.

"I wasn’t Paul, I was Sporty Spice’s brother, the one who dressed in trackies and did flying kicks.

"I’d pretend to laugh it off, but it hurt me. I couldn’t take any more, so I left."

But Mel said her brother was still there for her and gave her advice as a young popstar.

"Even though I was older, it was Paul who started giving me advice." she said.

"'Stand up for yourself. If someone is a p***k, just tell them.'

"When I was at my lowest, he was always there. My family has always been there, giving me something I could hold on to.

"People sometimes refer to Paul as my half-brother. No, he’s 100% my brother. Even if he did used to fart in my face!"

Paul added: "Although my sister’s got a few quid in the bank, she’s not as rich as everyone thinks.

"The mad money she was being offered would have come in useful, but I respect the fact she turned it down.

"My sister would never do anything just for the money, ’cos … she’s not an idiot.

"Despite the bizarre life she’s lived, she’s come out of it a decent, honest person."

Mel gave Paul his first break in motor racing and paid for his license and even bought him his first racing car – a £22k Rover MGF – and arranged sponsorship.

"People tried to rip me off, so it was a steep learning curve, but Mel’s selflessness gave me a whole new career," Paul said.

Mel also saved her brother's life when she helped diagnose him with diabetes.

The pair were on holiday together in Mauritius to celebrate Mel's 30th birthday when she noticed her brother was down in the dumps.

"He was sleeping a lot and losing weight despite downing huge bottles of Coke from the minibar," she told The Mirror in 2012.

"But it wasn’t until we got home and he started telling me about other symptoms that it all fell into place."

Paul told her he felt thirsty all the time and his vision was blurred.

Mel recognised the symptoms as a member of the Spice Girls' office staff had recently been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

"I’m so grateful to Mel for insisting I go to the doctor. I was on the verge of going into a coma," Paul said.

"I now know that delaying treatment for type 1 diabetes can cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA, a potentially life-threatening complication."

Paul was rushed to hospital and tests confirmed he has type 1 diabetes.

He then had his racing license revoked and had to learn how to measure his blood glucose levels at regular intervals and inject himself with insulin.

After keeping his blood sugar levels stable for six months, Paul's licence was returned and he competed for another three years.

He then retired from the sport to become a coach and pundit.

Celebrity Gogglebox continues on Friday 11 June at 9pm on Channel 4.

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