Since taking over the coveted breakfast slot at Triple J in January this year, Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton have been subject to a slew of harsh reviews.
The men, both in their early 20s, were heavily criticised for failing to immediately live up to their beloved predecessors, Matt Okine and Alex Dyson, through text, social media, and even in person.
And while their radio show remains positive and jovial, Liam opened up on Thursday about the toll the abuse had taken on him – revealing people had ‘explicitly told him to take his own life’.
Ben (right) and Liam (left) have received a slew of online abuse from irate listeners since taking over the Triple J breakfast slot in January this year
The Adelaide man said a big part of the issue was people not believing the words they put online had real-life consequences.
‘When people send things in and put things online, there’s no repercussions of people’s words – or at least they feel that way… there’s almost like a magic filter, he said on Thursday’s show.
‘But we see it.
‘We see when people text into our workplace, we see things. We see all the posts, we see all the comments.’
Liam continued on to say the harsh comments, day in and day out, had a real effect on him and left him feeling like a ‘disappointment’.
‘I can honestly say I’ve had nights where I’ve cried myself to sleep because of stuff like that.
‘I’ve had times when I’ve flown home back to Adelaide and just felt like a disappointment, a failure,’ he said.
Liam opened up on air about the toll the abuse had taken on him as part of Australia’s R U OK Day on Thursday, and said he had often felt pathetic or like a disappointment
In some cases, Liam reported he had been told to kill himself by irate listeners in messages sent to him personally, further reducing any chance of him not seeing it.
‘I’ve had times throughout the last eight months where I’ve opened messages to my personal account, even people quite explicitly telling me to take my own life,’ he said.
He also relayed a story about being cornered in person, late at night, by people who were desperate to express their anger.
‘Some guys kinda cornered me and were telling me how hopeless they thought I was, that I’d never be Matt and Alex,’ he said.
‘I can honestly say I’ve never felt lower than that point. I felt absolutely pathetic, properly pathetic.
Liam told listeners he had received direct messages telling him to kill himself and been confronted late at night on the street
‘For a while there I got a bit scared to go out, ’cause I thought I didn’t want people to judge me, I didn’t know what people would say to me. I kinda got scared, and it takes a lot to keep your chin up from that kind of stuff.’
Both Liam and his co-host Ben were both lauded after the segment, with listeners rallying behind them and praising their bravery.
‘The guts to speak openly and honestly was massive,’ one man wrote.
‘Hopefully this will start those vital convos.’
‘There a big difference between banter and bullying, and these people know they’re crossing the line,’ another listener wrote.
Listeners praised the radio duo for their bravery in sharing their story, noting there a big difference between banter and bullying