Graham Norton says Twitter is in danger of becoming a “no go area” comparing it to a neighbourhood which has become “rough and dangerous”.
The TV presenter has an account on social media but rarely uses it and says being a judge on BBC’s Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK made him realise how fortunate he was to build up his career before social media.
Graham, 58, said: “The drag fans are really lovely. But I am aware there is this toxic cabal – and if they don’t like one of the drag queens, they go for them in a horrible way.
“If you’re in bed at night reading horrible comments about yourself, who knows what damage that does to you?
“I feel for young people who think they have to engage on those platforms.”
He continued: “I don’t think we’re any crueller or nicer than we’ve ever been.
“I just think that social media has given us a weird way to shout at the television so that the person on the television hears you. And that can’t be good for anyone.
“Ultimately Twitter in particular has to do something, because it’s like a neighbourhood. If it’s rough and dangerous, people move out and it becomes a no-go area.
“It doesn’t matter what you say, you could tweet ‘Morning, what a lovely day’ – and people will tweet back, ‘Oh, that’s easy for you to say.’”
Graham admitted what we see on screen is not the real him but a “turbo charged version”.
Referring to what we see on screen, he told Saga magazine: “That’s an amped-up version of me, because I feel I ought to make an effort on telly. If I was like that all the time, it would be quite annoying.
“It’s very hard to sustain if it’s nothing like you. Years ago I remember Dolly Parton telling me that. She said, ‘Pick a persona that’s pretty close to you, otherwise life becomes difficult’. So mine is basically me, but turbo-charged.”
Graham also admitted he was always a show-off growing up. He said: “I was overly confident and insecure at the same time. But you don’t get into an industry like this unless you are a vortex of need.
“We all like positive affirmation, but we don’t all require people sitting in rows and clapping.
“That’s odd. I can’t lie, though – I really like an audience.”
*The full interview with Graham is in the new issue of Saga Magazine out now.