Helen Flanagan steps in to support Strictly’s Ellie Leach amid terrible trolling

EXCLUSIVE: Helen Flanagan has stepped in to support Strictly Come Dancing winner Ellie Leach, following a recent influx of cruel social media trolling directed at her

She may have lifted the Glitterball Trophy on Strictly Come Dancing last year, with Italian pro, and now BFF, Vito Coppola by her side – but it’s not all been rosy for rising star Ellie Leach. The 22-year-old’s newfound success, as she has sadly discovered, has also come with its dark side.

Ellie has encountered some horrific trolling, with many of the cruel comments taking aim at the former Coronation Street actress’ appearance. Trolls have been particularly mean about the star’s forehead, which some have cruelly described as being “large.”

As she struggles with the backlash, Ellie has received a morale boost from her fellow ex-Corrie star and pal, Helen Flanagan. In fact, Ellie is set to take over Helen’s role as Miss Scarlett in the touring production of the play Cluedo 2.

Helen Flanagan attends the Sexy Fish Manchester Launch Party on October 05, 2023 in Manchester, England.

Helen Flanagan has been offering support to Ellie Leach after she was targeted by cruel social media trolls (Image: Dave Benett/Getty Images for Sexy Fish Manchester)
A source has told us: “Helen has been through it all herself – and reached out to Ellie personally to support her. She’s been a tower of strength for Ellie – telling her to rise above it all, and that she will get through this.”

Over the past few years, mum-of three Helen has dealt with her share of online trolls. Social media users have seen fit to comment unnecessarily on everything from her looks to her career, and even her parenting.

Despite Helen’s support and friendship, however, it seems Ellie has been finding it difficult to deal with. The source added: “This is all very hard for Ellie to ignore because it does hurt. You’d need the skin of a rhino for it not to.

“But Helen knows what it’s like, life after Corrie, then the spotlight being thrust on you. She’s a shining example to Ellie of how you can get through the pain and come out a big success. As Helen always says, the best revenge is being successful.”

Ellie Leach

Ellie Leach has faced an influx of social media trolling in recent months (Image: Josh Andrews Productions/PA Wire)
Helen, 33, and Ellie first met on the famous cobbles, where they played stepsisters, Rosie Webster and Faye Windass, respectively.

Both actresses have since left the ITV soap, Helen saying goodbye to Weatherfield in 2012 before briefly returning in 2017, and Ellie departing last year.

While the pair may have left the show that made them names, they’ve not left our TV screens, with popular Ellie winning last year’s Strictly and Helen joining the special All Stars series of I’m A Celebrity… South Africa, after her first jungle appearance, back in 2012.

They’ve both made the jump from TV screen to stage. Sadly, however, while this should be a career high for Ellie, it has been marred by the terrible trolling she has had to put up with.

The source told us: “All this horrendous trolling just goes to show how cruel people can be. They really can be nasty. It’s been a horrible time for Ellie, which has knocked her self-confidence.

Ellie Leach & Vito Coppola

Ellie won last year’s Strictly Come Dancing (Image: PA)
“But as Helen reassured her, she’ll come through this. She’s got great support with other family and friends, everyone is rallying around.”

The source added that there’s even talk of Ellie filming her own documentary on the subject of social media trolling, as she really hopes to use her own experience to ensure no one else goes through anything similar.

Ellie recently opened up about receiving “horrible” messages online in an emotional Instagram video, when she said: “As people in the public eye, we are exposed to a lot of people having opinions, whether that’s on your personality or – a lot of the time – opinions on the way you look.

“And it makes me really sad, actually, because I’ve seen quite a few comments and messages that aren’t really very nice, and I just think that we should be kinder to each other…

“Social media is a great thing… but also it can be really really toxic and horrible and I think we all need to remember that we’re all humans and we all have feelings and to just think before we post.”

Ellie Leach

Our source reveals that Ellie is thinking about making a documentary about social media trolling (Image: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)
She ended with the plea, “So please, just before you say things have a little think how you would feel if somebody said that to you.”

Helen has also hit back at trolls in recent months after some social media users labelled her an “embarrassment” to her children, after she posted some photos in a sexy outfit.

Not one to let the comments get her down, Helen shared that she was “proud” of her relationship with her children Matilda, eight, Delilah, five, and two-year-old Charlie, as she shared a sweet photo to her Instagram Story, writing: “Really proud of the relationships I have with my kids. That is the most important thing to me. As long as I have my kids, I’m cool.”

And no doubt, for her part, Ellie will be very grateful indeed to know someone like Helen, who has walked in her shoes in so many ways – and who also has her back through good times and bad.

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