Peruse Olly Murs’s Twitter account and you’d think he loved the social media site – recent posts include a photo of him displaying his bare buttocks after winning the coveted Rear of the Year award and several tweets promoting his new album Never Been Better.
But the singer says that if he didn’t work in showbiz he would avoid Twitter completely because trolls have made it such a depressing and upsetting experience.
“It’s got really bad,” Murs says in the latest issue of Radio Times magazine. “I’m scared for my cousins and my nephew growing up. You hear about these online bullies, and people tweeting horrible stuff to kids.
“At school I knew there was a kid in the class who didn’t like me, but I didn’t know if there was 100 kids who didn’t like me. But what happens now is you go on Twitter and you can see everyone who hates you. That’s going to make you feel so down, and think ‘I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.’
“If I wasn’t doing this job I wouldn’t be on Twitter.”
Murs says his own experiences of Twitter abuse began after he appeared as a contestant on The X Factor in 2009.
“I’ve alway wanted people to like me, and see I’m a nice person,” he says. “And all of a sudden I’m on The X Factor and getting lashed at. ‘He’s wearing a hat to cover his bald patch’, ‘This guy can’t sing’, ‘He dances like my grandad’.
“And I was like one, I haven’t got a bald patch. Two, I think I’m all right as a singer. And three, my dance moves are a little better than my grandad’s…”
You can read the full interview with Olly Murs – in which he also talks about the twin brother he no longer speaks to – in the new issue of Radio Times magazine on sale Tuesday 24th November, also available on iPad and iPhone on Newsstand