THE BLOG

Twitter Trolls: Come and Say It to My Face!

10/10/2014 12:25 BST | Updated 09/12/2014 10:59 GMT

I heard this morning that Jonathan Agnew quit Twitter after receiving a stream of abuse on the site after a spat with Kevin Pietersen's wife. Although I haven't (yet) been wished 'death by Ebola' by an anonymous Twitter user, I've recently had the misfortune of dealing with a few Twitter trolls of my own.

Driving home from filming Question Time in Northampton last Thursday night, I was in the back of my car with my iPad sending out a few Tweets, as you do. Quite a few people had seen the show and there was quite a bit of chatter going on about it, and some of it was quite shocking.

Really nasty personal stuff, which left me wondering what it is that drives some people to turn into trolls the moment they get online?

Over the years I've taken my fair share of abuse and having trained as a boxer I'm used to confrontation and having it out in the ring. But this is face to face stuff, these people have the decency to bring their problems straight to me - and even if I don't agree with them, I usually understood what their problem was and respected them for bringing it up in person.

But these trolls are a pathetic breed. These gutless pitiful excuses for human beings hide behind their laptops, and shower s**t outwards at people who have the guts to put their heads above the parapet.

I just don't understand it! Does personally insulting me for being where they feel they should be, but don't have to guts to do it, make them feel better about their sad lives? These bitter beings should be celebrating success not attacking it. It took me a lot of hard work to get where I am today. Despite dropping out of school with no qualifications, I've built my business up from nothing, I started in a basement in Pimlico with just a second-hand box of tools and an old van. Hard graft and determination has got me where I am today, not wasting my time and energy on bitter and pathetic comments targeted at people I don't know.

I wouldn't be so confused if the trolls argued with my opinions or what I say, but most of them don't. Instead, the level of it seems to be to call me an idiot, a moron, or make childish comments about my personal appearance.

But it seems I got off lightly, as the conviction of Peter Nunn following a bombardment of disgraceful tweets targeted at my fellow Question Time panellist, MP Stella Creasy, shows how serious trolling can be. I'm not surprised at all that Agnew has quit Twitter. It makes me furious that these cowards hide behind the excuse of 'freedom of speech', how they dare use such a liberating term to try and excuse this cruel and damaging behaviour? It's not 'freedom of speech', it is downright harassment.

I just don't get it. Why is it that seeing someone like me getting five minutes in the spotlight, for working hard and doing well, makes people so nasty and vicious? I genuinely don't have an answer to it, but I hope they feel better soon; and to all those other people who have been so kind with their support and encouraging words, I'd like to express my sincere thanks.

Oh, and to all you nasty trolls out there - I'm doing Daily Politics with Andrew Neil on Friday, so make sure your laptops are charged and ready for another game of hate Charlie!