Multi-millionaire martial arts expert Matt Fiddes was reunited with his school bully live on air. And while the pair admitted to feeling awkward, they were both keen to put their past behind them.
“He’s a real man for doing this,” said Matt as he met his former bully Anthony and spoke to This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.
Matt, who spent a decade working as Michael Jackson’s bodyguard, has said that his experience of intense bullying inspired him to succeed.
“[The bullying] started a fire in me,” said Matt, who built up a martial arts empire, and was driving a Ferrari by the age of 21.
Anthony had previously contacted Matt via Facebook to apologise, but it was the first time they’d seen each other since school.
Matt was five when the bullying started and it lasted for two years. Said Anthony: “It was all five-year-old stuff that was going on, pushing him to get in the queue for milk first.” Matt has said that the bullying was the catalyst for the rest of his life and triggered more bullying.
Added Matt: “To be fair to Andy, he was a lot bigger than everyone else.
He added: “I think bullying is too much of a strong word for it, more like teasing.”
Anthony was touched by Matt’s words of forgiveness.
“I was overwhelmed about what Matt had said to me, to be honest.”
Viewers reacted to the reunion. “What an inspiring story,” wrote one.
“What a fantastic way to beat a bully,” added another. “Don’t get mad OR even just live an amazingly successful life.”
Others claimed that five year olds were too young to be branded bullies.
“He was FIVE,” wrote one. “I mean I was bullied when I was a kid… it went on for years… but a 5 year old wouldn’t realise they were a bully #thismorning.”
Added another: “Bullying is a massive problem but seriously asking a man how he was a bully at 5?”
“Do we really live in a country where 5 year old children are brandished as bully’s [sic]?” asked another.
Matt and Anthony also revealed that they are going to start training together and would be going into primary schools to tell their story.