While he is best known for presenting feel-good TV show DIY SOS, Nick Knowles is also a talented musician.
Having played the guitar since he was 14, he was spotted one night playing a small gig with his musician brother John by a music exec, who offered him the chance to record his own album.
Released in 2017, Every Kind Of People got to number 92 on the charts, and while it was a proud personal moment for the wannabe musician, speaking on White Wine Question Time, Knowles said he was shocked at the abuse he received on social media.
“I was really taken aback by how vehement the unpleasant abuse was,” he told host Kate Thornton. “And I couldn't for the life of me work out why it got so nasty.”
Listen: Nick Knowles talks about how he came to Kate Thornton’s defence on social media
Not only did he receive horrible comments on social, but some of the reviews for the album on Amazon were hysterically scathing.
One reviewer said: "I was sceptical when I heard the Don of DIY Daytime TV was releasing an album, but I shouldn't have doubted the musical genius that is Nick Knowles.
"Not for many years (probably since I first heard Lennon and McCartney's Across the Universe) have I been stopped dead in my tracks but the sheer power and beauty of music. Forget DIY on a budget television broadcasting, this is Nick's true vocation in life.”
For Knowles, who said working in the media has given him the “hind of a rhinoceros” the comments were particularly hard-hitting - so much so, he nearly gave up playing guitar for good.
“All the television stuff abuse I've ever got over television… Water off a duck's back,” he declared. “Music, oddly enough, that did hurt a little bit and I didn't pick up a guitar for a year.”
His singing was once again questioned when he entered the jungle in I’m A Celebrity in 2018, with some viewers comparing his voice to that of fictional comic character David Brent, calling for him to stop his jungle renditions. Knowles believes that this type of vitriol over social media is a real danger to our wellbeing as a society.
“I think one of the biggest dangers to everybody's wellbeing – and people getting on with each other – is what we do with social media,” he said.
“It hurts how vicious and unpleasant people are and how easily people can be hurt by sort of faceless people on social media.”
The 58-year-old presenter, who loves to perform alongside his brother at family parties, says it was he who encouraged him to record the album.
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He told Thornton: “I said to my brother, 'I just don't think it's really something that I should do.' He said 'Don't be daft! If a record company is going to give you the opportunity, it's another thing to tick off the list. Do it!'”
Since some time has passed, Knowles believes he now understands where the hate came from – he believes music fans are just so passionate about music that they can’t always accept it when something new comes along.
“It took me a long time before I kind of worked out in my head, what it was,” he told Thornton.
“I mean, not just the fact that I wasn't that good – that was neither here nor there – but what's really interesting is that music is really connected to people's mental health.”
However, his music career hasn’t been all bad and Knowles definitely had the last laugh. After his appearance in the jungle, his cover version of Bob Dylan's Make You Feel My Love hit number one on the iTunes chart after a campaign by DJ Chris Moyles to get it in the charts.
On receiving the news while he was in jungle, Knowles said: “If it's true it's very, very lovely. It's very difficult to believe, but if people are doing that, then thank you.”