Ben Shephard has blocked fans from leaving nasty comments on his social media after suffering horrific trolling.
The Good Morning Britain presenter, 47, said people would be “amazed” at the vile comments he has been subjected to throughout his on-screen career, with trolls trying to get a rise out of him.
Speaking to OK!, Ben said: “Social media can be an incredibly important tool for debate but what I don’t need is the mindless horrific vile abuse from people.
“You’d be amazed – people just want to get a reaction out of me, so I’ve changed my settings on my social media. I just want to be drawn to positivity and optimism and hope.”
The Tipping Point host went on to say that he was already his own worst critic in a cut-throat industry. When he got his big TV break launching T4 on Channel 4 in the late Nineties, he quickly learnt about the industry’s downsides when he was fired, with his boss telling him, “It’s not working and I don’t think it’s ever going to.”
He said: “It was brutal because it came out of nowhere. I was about 25 and thought I was going to be with Channel 4 for a couple of years.
"Then all of a sudden it was done and I clearly hadn’t been good enough in that role. It was really hard coming away from that and the reality of suddenly not having an income and not having a job. But what you realise is that when something goes wrong and then an opportunity comes along, you grab it even harder.”
For Ben, it was GMTV that came calling in 2000 and catapulted him to the heart of breakfast TV. He now presents GMB as well as ITV shows Tipping Point and Ninja Warrior UK, yet the knockback still haunts him.
Ben admitted: “I still constantly question if I’m good enough. I’m always trying to improve – that’s one of the brilliant things working alongside Susanna Reid, Kate Garraway andRanvir [Singh]and Charlotte [Hawkins] – I feel like I’m learning all the time. Nobody is more critical of me than I am of myself.”
This week, Ben has joined his colleagues Kate and Susanna to launch Good Morning Britain’s award-winning 1 Million Minutes campaign. Now in its seventh year, it encourages viewers to pledge their time to charities looking for volunteers to connect with anyone who feels alone or isolated.
At the time of print, over 404 million minutes of time have been generously donated to the campaign.
Ben said: “I’m lucky because I have a big family and we all get together but on those Christmases we can’t, I really struggle. It must be really difficult for people if they are on their own, which is why the campaign is so vital.
"The magical thing about the 1 Million Minutes campaign is that people don’t have to spend any money. It’s a far more important resource that they have to offer, which is their time – it makes such a difference.”
Watch 1 Million Minutes weekdays in Dec on GMB from 6am on ITV1 & ITV Hub
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