Stephen Fry says hurtful comments left by trolls are like 'lemon on a paper cut'

Stephen Fry, comedian, actor and writer, during the 2019 Hay Festival on May 26, 2019 in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. (Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images)

Stephen Fry has shared the impact social media trolling has had on him, and how he tries to no longer reads comments made about him online.

The 62-year-old appeared on This Morning on Wednesday to discuss just how negatively people can be affected by hurtful comments left on social media.

"It doesn't occur to them that it cuts you to the quick. It's like lemon on a paper cut, it just stings and it ruins your day," he told hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.

Read more: Love Island contestant Natalia Zoppa's sister calls for end to abusive messages

Asked whether he responds to the hurtful comments, he retorted: "I did respond occasionally, but you have to just not follow it or read it."

He went on to add: "It's not particularly good for your soul if people are praising you, either. You have to try and be real about this."

Stephen Fry attends 'Harlan Coben's The Stranger' screening and Q&A, which premieres on Netflix from 30 January 2020, at The Soho Hotel on December 10, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Harlan Coben)

Fry previously quit Twitter back in 2016 after he received a backlash over a comment made as he hosted the Baftas.

He deleted his profile after being criticised for comparing costume designer Jenny Beaven to a "bag lady". The actor returned to the platform five months later.

His comments come as presenter Caroline Flack's death has generated conversation around online trolls.

Flack was found dead in her east London flat aged 40 on Saturday. An inquest on Wednesday gave her provisional cause of death as by hanging.

The Love Island presenter was awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to charges of assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton, 27.

Wednesday saw Flack's family release an unpublished Instagram post she wrote before she died.

Caroline Flack died by suicide, an inquest has confirmed. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Part of the message read: “I've been having some sort of emotional breakdown for a very long time.

"I've been pressing the snooze button on many stresses in my life – for my whole life. I've accepted shame and toxic opinions on my life for over 10 years and yet told myself it's all part of my job.”

She said that after her arrest: “My whole world and future was swept from under my feet and all the walls that I had taken so long to build around me, collapsed. I am suddenly on a different kind of stage and everyone is watching it happen.”

Flack said she wanted to speak out because: “My family can't take anymore. I've lost my job. My home. My ability to speak. And the truth has been taken out of my hands and used as entertainment... I'm so sorry to my family for what I have brought upon them and for what my friends have had to go through.”

She added: “I'm not thinking about 'how I'm going to get my career back.' I'm thinking about how I'm going to get mine and my family's life back.”

For confidential emotional support at times of distress, contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.