Rylan Clark-Neal took Twitter break after homophobic abuse gave him X Factor flashbacks

Babushka frontman went offline after The Chase backlash took nasty turn

babushka

Babushka's Rylan Clark-Neal says he quit Twitter to avoid homophobic abuse from The Chase viewers - which reminded him of his time as a contestant on The X Factor.

Although The Chase regularly takes breaks, its fans have been up in arms after ITV revealed that new gameshow Babushka is replacing it throughout May.

Host Rylan has been a lightning rod for the controversy, prompting him to temporarily take down his Twitter page.

On today's edition of ITV's Loose Women, Rylan explained his internet break, hitting out at some publications for falsely implying he had got The Chase "axed".

"We knew The Chase fans would be like, 'I can’t believe it isn't on', which is fine," he said. "But I’m not annoyed at them. What I am annoyed about is the online media.

"What they’ve done with their headlines is, 'Rylan’s axed The Chase to pave the way for his show'.

"I was getting tweets saying, 'I can’t believe The Chase has been axed for you, Bradley Walsh is amazing'.

"Then I’ve had people going, 'Can’t believe you’re the new presenter of The Chase'. It’s like a game of Chinese whispers that’s completely out of control."

Rylan decided to go offline after the abuse took a homophobic turn, giving him flashbacks to his controversial X Factor stint.

"I felt like I’d gone back five years, when I was out there to be judged on The X Factor," he explained.

"I don’t need that, the homophobia, everything, I don’t need that in my life.

"I'll let the show go on air, let people make their minds up, then I’ll go back on Twitter."

Despite the backlash, Rylan is thrilled that bosses have given Babushka a chance in The Chase's coveted teatime slot.

"I have to say to ITV a massive thank you," he added. "It’s an amazing slot and everyone at the channel has seen Babushka and they really do love it."

Babushka - which sees contestants open Russian dolls in pursuit of big money - begins on Monday at 5.00pm on ITV.

The Chase is due to return in June.

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