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'The X Factor': Magician Ben Hanlin Faces Backlash Over 'Cheryl Diet' Joke On 'The Xtra Factor'

12/12/2015 23:23 GMT | Updated 12/12/2015 23:59 GMT

Magician Ben Hanlin has been met with a furious response on Twitter, following a controversial joke about Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

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The ‘Tricked’ star was appearing on ITV2's 'X Factor' spin-off show ‘The Xtra Factor’ to perform a trick, concluding in him pulling a piece of paper out of his mouth.

However, things took an awkward turn when he remarked that the trick was part of “the Cheryl Cole diet”, and was met with complete silence from the studio.

cheryl fernandezversini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Immediately, viewers began to take to Twitter to condemn his remarks, which came after the ‘X Factor’ judge has faced months of scrutiny on social media and in the press about her weight.

Cheryl has been on the receiving end of comments about her weight ever since this summer, when she arrived at the first of this year’s ‘X Factor’ auditions, looking noticeably thinner than usual.

ben

Ben Hanlin on 'The Xtra Factor'

Since then, she’s repeatedly tried to silence those who have attempted to body-shame her on social media, writing on her Instagram page back in July: “I would never dream of calling somebody too fat and that they should maybe cut down on their food intake? What is the difference?

“You have no idea what I’ve been through. Just losing my father in law v recently and everything that comes with that… Have some respect and maybe think there may be reasons why before opening your mouth please [sic].”

She later made her Instagram account private, to prevent people from writing negative comments, but then faced a backlash of her own when she attempted to turn the tables in a magazine interview.

Cheryl came under fire when she remarked: “You'd never be allowed to say to somebody, 'Oh, you look a bit fat'.

"And being overweight is unhealthy - it's actually a bad message to tell someone who is obese that they look 'curvy' or 'great'."

Just this week, Cheryl hit back at comments made by Lord Alan Sugar, who tweeted that she thought she looked too thin, claiming: “I’ve got nothing to say to stupidity. How do you answer stupidity? With intelligence? If I cared I would be bothered.”

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