Union J are looking for a new fourth member after George Shelley's exit

Published Sunday, Mar 6 2016, 10:59 GMT  |  By  |  Add comment
Union J are looking to replace George Shelley, they have confirmed.

Just a day after the shock news that George had left the band, the remaining three boyband stars have revealed they are looking for a new fourth member.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live​, Josh Cuthbert told listeners that they have a few people in mind, but might also hold public auditions. Eek!

George Shelley outside ITV Studios
15 Dec 2015
Inset: Union J

© WENN / Rocky

He said: "There will be a new member added in the next few weeks / months, so keep your eyes peeled, and we'll be doing the third album and going on tour again and going to LA and all that stuff, so it's exciting."

He also said: "Either privately behind closed doors or do a big public search. We don't know how to play it yet.

"We've already got a few boys in mind and they're brilliant."

Union J outside ITV Studios, London
24 November

© WENN / Rocky

On Friday, the news first broke that I'm A Celebrity star George had left the band. And, at first, the news seemed to be bogged down in hostility.

The Sun reported that the remaining three Union J members - Jaymi Hensley, JJ Hamblett and Josh Cuthbert - gave George an ultimatum via email telling him to either commit to the band or leave.

The paper claimed Josh said: "'You're either in the band or you're not.' George was in a position where he did the jungle, he came off it and his headspace was different to ours. To use a sporting analogy, he wanted to turn up to the big matches but not turn up to training."

Union J at Capital FM's Jingle Bell Ball - 6/12/2014.

© Lia Toby/WENN.com

But a rep for George insisted it was a "mutual decision" made so George could focus on other work commitments, including acting and TV.

"He is an utterly charming and hardworking individual - not a diva in the slightest," George's rep told ITV News.

"The fact of the matter is that the other members of Union J are simply jealous he has achieved the start of an exciting new career and they have not. George had agreed to be totally magnanimous towards them, but unfortunately this has not been reciprocated."

Union J then released a statement clarifying the situation, which said: "In 2012 we started something that has been the centre of our lives ever since, a band and project that is now family to us - Union J.

"Through two incredible albums, successful tours and a lot of fun along the way, the four of us have all enjoyed this incredible journey. But with time, comes change and a difference in aspirations.

"So, as we prepare to go back into the studio to work on new material, George will not be continuing on this journey with us. George will now be following his own path and career no longer as part of Union J. This is a mutual decision between the four of us, and we will always remain close.

"In time we will announce our new plans for 2016 and likewise we will be following George's career and wish him all the best in his endeavours."

In turn, Jaymi wrote: "George has decided he no longer could continue in Union J because he is [pursuing] individual projects. I want it to come from my hand that I am very proud of George, the person he is and everything he has so far and will continue to achieve! He will always remain my brother!

"Of course I am utterly heartbroken we are no longer a four and I am going to miss him beyond belief, but mutually we agreed that we would like to continue in Union J which George totally supported and that it wouldn't be fair for all the band members not to have the same goal at the minute!

"I can certainly say that this decision has not come from any bad feeling, jealousy or anything else of that nature! I will always support George... and so happy he is being amazing and slaying what he's doing! Just a very sad day that has been blown out of proportion."

Union J were formed in 2011, with George being added as a fourth member the following year. They finished fourth in the ninth series of The X Factor and have released two albums: Union J and You Got It All - The Album.

Watch the official video to Union J's single 'Beautiful Love' below:

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