Former X Factor winners Little Mix claim this year's most-talked about act, parody rapper Honey G, is a "fake" and "an actress", citing inside sources as evidence.

The pop group, who became the first band to win the competition in 2011, have since gone on to chart success and did not hold back when questioned on Kiss FM about this year's contestants.

Speaking about Honey G – real name Anna Gilford, Jade Thirlwall said: "I think it's a joke. I don't believe she's real. She's blatantly an actress. Let's just say, I've heard she's an actress."

Bandmate Jesy Nelson echoed this sentiment saying: "She's just no. I think she's an actress, I've been told she is as well." Leigh-Anne Pinnock then added, perhaps most damningly, "I'm all for entertainment, but I'm also all for real talent as well."

An X Factor spokesperson denied the accusations to the Mail Online, stating: "Honey is not an actress."

However, a newspaper investigation by The Sun uncovered how the 35-year-old self-styled "urban artist", hailing from "North Weezy," in fact previously lived life as a recruitment manager and IT consultant.

Guilford's LinkedIn profile also lists a master's degree from University College London, and details her interests as tennis, skiing and current affairs.

A friend who studied at university with the X Factor star also revealed to The Sun that Guilford has completely transformed her image, ditching her "posh" accent to fit her new persona.

Honey G in her pomp
Honey G has been a controversial figure on this year's X Factor Facebook

Honey G is currently enjoying a revival on the show despite failing to secure a seat during the six chair challenge — brought back as part of judge Sharon Osbourne's over-25s when Filipino singer Ivy Grace Parades was forced to quit over visa issues.

According to OK! Magazine she is expected to perform Mo Money Mo Problems by The Notorious B.I.G. on Saturday night's show (15th October) as part of a Motown night.

And it certainly seems money problems haunted her in a previous life. According to the Daily Mail, a company credited to Guilford called ARG Search, is worth just £1.

Official records show the business has just £244 in its accounts and debts of £1,338, with its highest ever income a meagre £13 in 2013.