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Ed Sheeran has admitted that fame has become so stressful that he has reduced his friends to just four - and all are on his payroll

Ed Sheeran & # 39; s Fantastic Four: The old school friends who are the only friends of the multi-millionaire pop star because of his & # 39; social anxiety & # 39; … and they are all on his payroll

  • Ed Sheeran admitted that fame is so stressful that he has reduced his friends to just four
  • The pop star revealed that he became socially anxious, so he surrounded himself with the old school friends who formed his Fantastic Four
  • Videographer Nic Minns, photographer Zakary Walters, personal chef Josh Harte and confidant Lauren Baker-Woodside form the inner circle of the singer
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During his record-breaking world trip, he played for 8.5 million people in 43 countries and earned £ 662 million.

But Ed Sheeran has admitted that fame has become so stressful that he has reduced his friends to just four – and they are all on his payroll.

The pop star revealed that he is becoming socially anxious, which has led him to surround himself with the old school friends who form his Fantastic Four.

"I have social anxiety," said the 28-year-old, who will finish his 893-day tour tomorrow after having played four nights in Ipswich in his home country of Suffolk. "I don't like large groups of people, which is ironic because I play shows for thousands of people."

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Ed Sheeran has admitted that fame has become so stressful that he has reduced his friends to just four - and all are on his payroll

Ed Sheeran has admitted that fame has become so stressful that he has reduced his friends to just four – and all are on his payroll

Videographer: Nic Minns worked on Ed & # 39; s film Songwriter

Videographer: Nic Minns worked on Ed & # 39; s film Songwriter

Photographer Zakary Walters documents life on tour

Photographer Zakary Walters documents life on tour

Videographer Nic Minns (left) worked on Ed & # 39; s film Songwriter. Right: Photographer Zakary Walters (right) documents life on tour

Now The Mail on Sunday has discovered the identity of these friends, who have remained a close-knit group since they were classmates at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham.

The Sheeran 2017 hit Castle On The Hill refers to "smoking hand-rolled cigarettes" and getting drunk with his friends like a teenager at the city's medieval castle.

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In an interview he said: "I have three of the friends who are touring with me in the song. They are not really like a crew. They work during the day and then we drink red wine and watch The Wire. & # 39;

In fact, all four have been rewarded for their continued loyalty with positions on the Sheeran payroll. Perhaps his closest confidant is Lauren Baker-Woodside, a 27-year-old English literature student at the University of Glasgow, whose parents run the Café Dancing Goat of Framlingham.

"She has been touring with Ed for the past four or five years," said her mother Wendy Baker, an artist and teacher. "She keeps him healthy.

Confidante: Ed & # 39; s best friend Lauren Baker-Woodside, a 27-year-old English literature student at the University of Glasgow

Confidante: Ed & # 39; s best friend Lauren Baker-Woodside, a 27-year-old English literature student at the University of Glasgow

Confidante: Ed & # 39; s best friend Lauren Baker-Woodside, a 27-year-old English literature student at the University of Glasgow

Personal chef: Josh Harte, who studied at Amsterdam University College, prepares the singer organic meals
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Personal chef: Josh Harte, who studied at Amsterdam University College, prepares the singer organic meals

Personal chef: Josh Harte, who studied at Amsterdam University College, prepares the singer organic meals

"He's not in a band, so if he wasn't there, he'd be a bit isolated. They went to school together and have been friends ever since. & # 39;

Another inner circle of Sheeran is Josh Harte, who studied at Amsterdam University College, before becoming Sheeran's personal touring chief. As an avid environmentalist, he ensures that Sheeran eats organic food.

& # 39; Ed usually eats vegetarian with some seafood when we are at the sea & he said. "All crew members are provided with metal water bottles and we do not buy drinks in plastic containers."

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Sheeran also has two photographers – Zakary Walters and Nic Minns, both 28 – with him who were in school in his year. Zak, an avid skier and hiker, studied graphic design at the University College of Falmouth before becoming Sheeran's "personal photographer". He documents "the life and concerts of his Divide world trip".

Meanwhile, Nic, an avid videographer, was a cameraman on Sheeran's film Songwriter, made by his cousin Murray Cummings, and took the first photo of Ed and his wife Cherry Seaborn when they became engaged.

Last night their former teacher Georgie Ross, who directed them in a Grease school production, said: "I remember them well – they were a fantastic group of young people to teach.

"It's great to see that they are still working with Ed all those years later. A real proof of their deep friendship. & # 39;

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