Tracy Beaker actress Dani Harmer has revealed how she wants to quit social media after being trolled.
The show has broken records for CBBC after the three-part miniseries made its debut earlier this month.
Appearing on FUBAR Radio, Dani suggested social media was to thank for the big viewing figures, saying: "I think it's social media and kind of getting the word out there.”
However she added: “I personally wouldn't have social media if it wasn't so important now for kind of getting the message out there.”
Joining hosts Bobby Norris and Stephen Leng on Access All Areas, Dani shared the horrific trolling she has received, often about her weight.
Recalling when she competed in Strictly Come Dancing. Dani revealed: “I was a size six when I was on Strictly. I don't think you could get that much smaller, but obviously I’m five foot. So obviously my size six isn't going to look like a bloomin’ five foot ten model, do you know what I mean? It's very different. I'm squashed, I'm little and it doesn't look the same, right?”
Having experienced the online abuse before, Dani admitted she wanted to discuss her weight before she returned to people’s TV screens as she knew there’d be a lot of comments about it: “I was just mentioning it because now, obviously, we’ve been in lockdown, I haven't been afraid of the chocolate biscuits.
"I didn't think in a million years we were going to film this series during the pandemic. So, I was just like eating away. And then they were like, ‘No, no, you, you are.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, great! I’m in perfect shape! Let’s do this!’”
She continued: “I kind of wanted to get in there before all of these stupid trolls came after me going like, ‘Oh, well, you’re fat now!’ I'm like, ‘Oh, yeah alright. Okay, sure! What else you got?’ You know, and I'm a size 10 and no way in a million years is that big for goodness sake. But I'm just kind of expecting it.”
Dani took on the iconic role of Tracy 20 years ago and admits she’s learnt to deal with criticism online over the years, but fears others might not be as strong: “I just worry about all the sort of like kids out there. I'm 32. I can take it. I have very thick skin. I've been on telly for like a million years now I'm used to it.
"But kind of my little Emma who plays my daughter in Tracy Beaker, I just kind of wanted to warn her about it. I was like, ‘You know what? Just stay off Twitter. It's not worth it!’ It’s really not worth it.”
The star admitted that there was a period of time last year where she thought progress was being made with online abuse: “I felt for a minute, there, that we were kind of on the cusp of everything changing.
"We had the such sad passing of Caroline Flack and then the Be Kind movement, which I was like, ‘Oh, finally, I think people are going to realise that there are people behind these phones or whatever devices you're using and we're human beings.’”
She continued: “Just because we have this weird job, it doesn't mean that, you know, we don't have feelings, we have emotions. And words hurt, they really, really hurt.
“That Be Kind movement kind of lasted for like what? Five minutes? We need to get back to that. And it's really important. I just really hope that this next generation coming up, are a bit more mindful and thoughtful.”