Great British Bake Off finalist Laura Adlington has shared how she felt suicidal after being attacked by cruel fat-shaming trolls following her appearance on the Channel 4 stalwart in 2020.
The show runner-up bravely spoke about how she was left “crying in bed” in the run up to the final when keyboard warriors blamed her weight on her fertility struggles.
Recalling her experience, she told the Should I Delete That? podcast with Em Clarkson and Alex Light: “When it was all really kicking off was on the week of the final. People were just being awful, and it was really personal stuff as well.
“It was personal stuff like infertility and other personal things. People were saying things like: ‘It was no wonder you can’t have a baby’. It just got really bad.
“I remember thinking, not I want to kill myself, but I remember crying in bed and being like, this would just be so much easier if I was not here if I did not exist. That was a really low point for me.”
Insisting more need to be done to stop trolling , she continued: “More needs to be done to govern people on the internet. I’m all for freedom of speech, but like, don’t be a d*** - that’s an actual person with a beating heart.
“It’s f***ing disgusting what people can say and get away with.”
Adlington explained how the torent of abuse began to impact her “confidence” and “mental health” in the lead up to the show’s final after she pipped Hermine to the post with her show-stopping bake.
“I think after Bake Off, I really lost my confidence, because there was so much horribleness around it,” she said.
“And someone gave me some really bad advice, saying stay on Twitter because you might get work from it. But it was so bad for my mental health. It was awful.
“I remember when I got through to the final over Hermine, (and I was thinking) how the hell am I trending? And there were 120 Ofcom complaints about it.
“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.
“I actually agree with you but for the record you weren’t there, you didn’t taste it. 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.”
Reflecting on her experience, the TV star admitted she found GBBO’s seven-week filming process “exhausting” and claimed she was “let down” when support promised by Channel 4 never materialised.
She said: “We filmed Bake Off it in a heatwave. I was seven weeks away from home. I was honestly mentally and physically exhausted.
“We didn’t really have any support from the counsellors that they promised or anything and by the end of the filming, I was literally [left feeling] like I’m done. I don’t even want to do it.
“I just cried so much but when I came out of Bake Off, it really knocked my confidence every time I was baking.
“I’d be like in the back of my head. I’d be like ‘you’re sh**, you’re sh**, you’re sh**, you’re sh**, you’re sh*t’. I bake a bit now but not as much as I used to. I’d kind of lost my love for a little bit.”
However, a spokesman for the show has said all bakers were offered support.
A spokesman for Great British Bake Off told the Evening Standard: “The welfare of the bakers is paramount and support is provided throughout the process and beyond.
“Whilst filming in the covid secure bubble, support was constantly available to all the bakers, including from professionals over zoom and the phone.”
Despite the extensive trolling she endured while on the show, Adlington had only fond things to say about those involved in the production and insisted Bake Off “changed her life”.
“I’m really grateful for it, because it definitely changed my life. And I’m doing something that I genuinely love now,” she added.
The GBBO star launched her Go Love Yourself podcast in January, aimed at empowering people to feel good about themselves and their bodies.
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