The X Factor 2009 twins John and Edward have said that they have become victims of a “hate” campaign from fans of the show.

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror the 18-year-olds admitted that some of the abuse has been so bad they have been reduced to tears – and even left unable to sleep at night.

“We get hate mail and vicious letters,” the pair told the paper. “Some of the hate mail 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.”

John added, “I get so upset by it I can’t sleep. It goes round and round in my head.”

“We walk down the street and people say, ‘there’s those losers’. We’ve had a gang come up to us saying, ‘There’s those twins’ and they came after us. We had to run away. We know there are a lot of people who hate us.

“All we want is for people to love us,” he said, “It hurts us and our family.”

The pair performed the theme from Ghostbusters on Saturday night’s movie themed show, and will find out on Sunday whether the public have voted them through for another week.

Their odds of winning the series have been slashed to 6-1, making them fourth favourites.