James Blunt made a "deal" with Ed Sheeran to teach him to ski in exchange for songwriting lessons.

The 47-year-old singer has become "great friends" with the 'Bad Habits' hitmaker and gave him some help on the slopes when the 30-year-old star paid him a visit in Verbier, Switzerland.

James said: "The only ski lift I ride is the Verbier one named after me. They have given me a lifetime ski pass. I should install a sound system that only plays my music, to keep the queues down.

"When I was based there, Ed Sheeran came out and we made a fair deal: he’d teach me how to write songs and I’d teach him how to ski. We’ve become great friends."

The 'You're Beautiful' hitmaker may still have a huge following of fans, but he can't help but fixate on the people with negative opinions.

He told the Times magazine: "I am following all the clichés. Even if I am ‘musical Marmite’, I’m still gigging.

"My music evokes strong opinions. I’m in good company – Coldplay have sold millions and there are lots of people who say they don’t like Coldplay.

"But even if I’ve just played a concert to 20,000 people, I’m concerned about one negative tweet about my music, probably written by some guy who’s still living with his parents at 40… Human nature is weird – we gravitate towards the negative."

James thinks his military background gave him the confidence to perform.

He said: "If you can play in front of a bunch of soldiers, you can play to anyone. War is the most deeply unpleasant experience. We were dealing with decisions based on life and death.

"Then I moved into music and people worried about whether a musician seems cool, which seems a slightly pointless thing to be putting brain power towards."