Blue’s Duncan James says he experienced a flurry of vile abuse on Twitter shortly after ITV aired The Big Reunion, where the singer reunited with his former band mates.

Even though Duncan admitted he liked men three years ago, some of his fans only learnt about his sexuality from watching the ITV show in April.

In an interview with Now magazine, the 35-year-old said the reaction on Twitter had been largely positive, however he did also receive several homophobic messages.

“These days people can be absolutely vile on Twitter,” Duncan said. “One troll wrote, ‘I hope you get AIDS and die, you faggot.'”

Duncan also told the magazine, he was initially worried that coming out would put him at physical risk.

“When I first came out I thought people were going to gay bash me and call me a faggot walking down the street,” he added. “That never happened”.

Despite his fears, Duncan told Metro last month that coming out had been a huge relief.