You may not know this, but Labor leader Bill Shorten has a twin brother.
Bear with us.
On Sunday, I received a message from a well-placed source (my dad). He wanted to alert me to something he'd just discovered.
I already knew this, but filed it away as a potential story idea for the future.
Then on Monday night, writer and broadcaster Marieke Hardy shared the same revelation.
Guys Bill Shorten has a twin brother called Bob did you all know about this why did nobody tell me— Marieke Hardy (@mariekehardy) May 30, 2016
And it freaked people out
@mariekehardy WHAT— Bec Shaw (@Brocklesnitch) May 30, 2016
@mariekehardy um wot. Pics or it didn't happen— harvway 2 dangerzone (@HarvsK) May 30, 2016
But it's true. Bill Shorten has a twin brother, Robert. Bill and Bob, the Shorten twins. But, contrary to my dad's conspiracy theory about body doubles, the brothers are not identical, but rather fraternal (i.e. non-identical) twins.
@mariekehardy Of all the categories of twin (vestigial, evil etc.) I think "secret" is the most unsettling.— Adam Liaw (@adamliaw) May 30, 2016
To be fair, he's not exactly a "secret" twin. Information about Robert Shorten is somewhat scarce, compared to his Opposition Leader brother, but he has garnered fleeting mentions in reports on Bill over the years.
"The twins were named after their late father, William Robert Shorten," reported a Sydney Morning Herald profile in 2009. He was said to be a financial consultant, while Fairfax Media said Robert "doesn't live a politician's hard life, looks a little older, as well as being taller and darker" than his brother.
Robert founded his own corporate advisory firm in Melbourne in 2006.
"During his career, Rob has advised on more than 30 transactions with an aggregate value exceeding A$16 billion," the profile on his website states.
But the million dollar question is, what does Bill Shorten's twin brother look like? Robert keeps a low profile, but here's one Bill himself posted on Twitter in 2013:
That's Rob right behind the boy in the jacket and tie, next to the girl in red.
We also managed to find another one, from the profile page on the website of his firm. Here's the side-by-side comparison:
So, there you are. Bill Shorten has a twin brother. Although some aren't convinced: