Tom Kerridge slams 'horrific, gut wrenching' racist trolls who targeted Marcus Rashford
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge says his 'thick skin' means he is able to take social media abuse with a pinch of salt, and to see the benefits of platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
But the chef, known for TV shows including Great British Menu, also said he has seen the abuse which his fellow Full Time Meals campaigner Marcus Rashford has received online, branding it 'horrific, gut wrenching and disgusting racial abuse'.
The pair launched the Full Time Meals campaign, in which they release a new video each week on Instagram showing a family-friendly recipe, including a video of One Direction's Louis Tomlinson making a fish finger sandwich which has gained more than 1.5 million views.
Kerridge told Kate Thornton on the White Wine Question Time podcast that through the 'magic' of social media their campaign had raised enough money to feed more than 800,000 people.
WATCH: Tom Kerridge on the Saturday night tea from his childhood that got him interested in food.
He raised the bad side of social media, and acknowledged that many people will get it worse than him on the sites too.
He told Thornton: "I've learned over time that I've got quite a thick skin so it don't matter. You see the idiots that say daft comments, you've got to take it with a pinch of salt.
"You do get stick. But the reality of it is, if you don't take it personally, none of it really matters, does it?"
He said that after missing a penalty in the Euro 2020 tournament, he saw the amount of 'nightmares' that 24-year-old Rashford has had to deal with online.
He blasted 'the amount of horrific gut wrenching, disgusting, racial abuse [Rashford received]'.
Listen to the full episode to hear about Tom's favourite childhood foods and sneaking into the Viennetta factory as a teenager!
He said: "Social media can always be seen as a very negative thing. And the way that people's perceptions of how your life should be: your Instagram life versus reality we're all guilty of it.
"However, when it comes to connecting, and being honest, and being real, that social reach through Instagram, through Full Time Meals, through Facebook has been incredible.
"That's where social media has a really positive role to play when you can view it like that. We've connected with all those people, and it's done really, really well."
The chef, whose restaurants include Marlow's The Hand and Flowers and The Coach, called Rashford 'an incredible human being' after his campaigning over lockdown meals for school children forced a government u-turn on the issue.
He said it's thanks to the power of social media, and the 'socially driven' side of the campaign that they've been able to continue to spread the work about their work.
He said: "The power of social media is looked upon quite often when it's a dark thing, when it's bad.
"But when magical things like the Full Time Meals campaign happens, that is through social media connecting with people.
"And then that connects into national press, and it connects into podcasts. It connects to written media, people talk about it, but all of it is socially driven.
"Marcus is also very, very well connected. And people are very, very interested in what Marcus is doing.
"I think from a young campaigner, pushing forward policy and process through government, he's just an incredible human being."
WATCH: Tom Kerridge on nostalgic foods, the importance of pubs for local communities, and the time Liam Gallagher came for Sunday lunch.