Content warning: Some may find this article distressing. If you are struggling with your mental health, support is always available. The Samaritans can be reached on 116 123. In an emergency, always call 999/112.
“People were being really awful and it was just personal stuff as well.”
Laura Adlington, who appeared on the 2020 edition of The Great British Bake Off has spoken about the impact online trolling has had on her mental health.
In a recent chat with Em Clarkson and Alex Light on the Should I Delete That? podcast, the baker talked about how the messages got particularly abusive during the final, with many questioning her place there. She was also subject to cruel fat-shaming and deeply insensitive comments about fertility.
“People were being really awful and it was just personal stuff as well,” she said. “It was personal stuff like infertility and other personal things like, ‘It was no wonder you can’t have a baby.'”
She went on to explain that the comments took a detrimental toll on her mental health, before calling for more to be done to combat online abuse.
Laura said: “More needs to be done to govern people on the internet. I’m all for freedom of speech, but like, don’t be a dick. That’s an actual person with a beating heart.”
She added that it is “disgusting” what people can get away with saying.
The baker said that she completely lost her confidence after Bake Off, and while she wanted to leave Twitter due to the abuse, she was encouraged to stay on for the sake of her career.
“It was so bad for my mental health,” Laura said. “It was awful.”
She also shared that it was hurtful to see that people complained to Ofcom when she won her place in the final over Hermine.
“I think I put a statement on Twitter saying something like you’re allowed to get upset that your favourite person didn’t get through,” she said. “I explained how my cake always looks a bit rustic and that’s it and it’s really all about the taste and the flavour.”
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, support is available. The Samaritans can be reached on 116 123. In an emergency, always call 999/112.