Ben Foden EXCLUSIVE: X Factor star reveals ex Una Healy 'encouraged me to do ...

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Ben Foden has revealed his pop star ex-wife, Una Healy, knew about his desire to branch out into music long before his days on X Factor: Celebrity.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline at SportsMail's event, A Pint with Piers, at the Arms in Chelsea on Wednesday, the rugby player, 34, said The Saturdays star, 38, has been supporting his journey on the ITV1 talent show.

Ben and Una split in 2018 after six years of marriage, and continue to raise their two children, daughter Aoife, seven, and son, Tadhg, four.   

Ex factor: Ben Foden has revealed his pop star ex-wife, Una Healy, knew about his desire to branch out into music long before his days on X Factor: Celebrity [pictured in 2017]

Ex factor: Ben Foden has revealed his pop star ex-wife, Una Healy, knew about his desire to branch out into music long before his days on X Factor: Celebrity [pictured in 2017]

Ben told MailOnline: 'Una always used to encourage me to do the music thing. When I told her that I was doing [The X Factor] she thought it was a great idea. She loves it.' 

The hopeful musician admits the former couple have settled their differences and said he values her input when it comes to Try Star - the band he performs in with fellow rugby players Thom Evans, 34, and Levi Davis, 21.

Ben added: 'Una and I have a good relationship for the sake of the kids. I always wish her the very very best. And the kids are loving The X Factor. 

'They went to the show last week. They’re coming this weekend. They’re going to go absolutely bananas.

'Their mum is obviously mega talented at singing. She always says when she catches [the show]. Sometimes she’s busy, but she thinks [Try Star] are doing great.' 

Opening up: Ben (right) spoke exclusively to MailOnline at SportsMail's event, A Pint with Piers, at the Hollywood Arms in Chelsea on Wednesday

Opening up: Ben (right) spoke exclusively to MailOnline at SportsMail's event, A Pint with Piers, at the Arms in Chelsea on Wednesday

The rugby player said: 'Una always used to encourage me to do the music thing. When I told her that I was doing [The X Factor] she thought it was a great idea. She loves it'

The rugby player said: 'Una always used to encourage me to do the music thing. When I told her that I was doing [The X Factor] she thought it was a great idea. She loves it'

Trying times: Ben and Una, 38, share children Aoife, seven, and Tadhg, four, and went through a high-profile split in 2018 after six years of marriage

Trying times: Ben and Una, 38, share children Aoife, seven, and Tadhg, four, and went through a high-profile split in 2018 after six years of marriage 

Ben shocked fans in August when he revealed he had married his second wife, Jackie Belanoff Smith, after a two-week whirlwind romance. 

He told how she has supported him through his X Factor journey and, despite living in the US, has been in the UK by his side.

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