Marcus Collins conquers cyber bullies as he reveals it was third time lucky for X Factor success

'I'm forever on the block button!' Marcus Collins conquers cyber bullies as he reveals it was third time lucky for X Factor success

With fame comes notoriety, designer freebies and unconditional devotion from fans.

Not to mention the magnums of champagne.

But the darker side of success includes an influx of cyber abuse intent on chipping away at stars.

But Marcus Collins has risen above the bitchiness, by simply ignoring those who want him to fail.

Rising star: Marcus Collins looked effortlessly slick on the red carpet at the BRIT Awards on Tuesday

Rising star: Marcus Collins looked effortlessly slick on the red carpet at the BRIT Awards on Tuesday

The X Factor runner-up said: 'I get loads of love from my fans but
there are still people who will follow me (on Twitter) just to give me grief and
that's something I'm still coming to terms with.

'I'm trying to understand why
somebody would do that, but some people have got a different sense of
humour to others and think things are funny, so that's fine if
that's how they want to spend their time.

'I will just block them. I don't really want to go online and
read nasty things, I don't think anyone does, especially on Twitter
which is something I kind of have to do for work.

'It's also my favourite
way of speaking to fans and stay in touch with them to find out how
they're feeling about things. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it
doesn't. If it does, I'll just block you anyway.

'I'm forever on that
block button. Report, spam and block!'

Triumphant: Marcus looks rather suave with his leather man-bag arriving at the Manchester MEN Arena for tour rehearsals

Triumphant: Marcus looks suave with his leather man-bag arriving at the Manchester MEN Arena for rehearsals

But despite the spineless bullying of faceless online haters, Marcus has no regrets about his career.

He said: 'There are downsides, or rather
sacrifices that are made and I miss my family. I miss my nan and
grandad. I miss just turning up and being able to rob the sweets out the
dish.

'I miss going for my dinner on the off chance there is spare. My nan still puts
extra food on just in case I turn up and it breaks my heart that I'm not
there but it'll be worth it.

'It's worth it now when they see me
on TV or adverts and think: “That's our lad, he's done well.”'

The Liverpudlian former hairdresser also revealed he suffered several knocks on his quest for glory.

'Anyone who wants to follow their dreams,
please pursue it! It can come true if you believe it.

Rocker: Marcus was decked out in leather for a performance on The X Factor

Rocker: Marcus was decked out in leather for a performance on The X Factor

'I auditioned for X
Factor and didn't get through the first time, and it really knocked me
and I didn't go back the next year and I regretted it. Then a couple of
years later I went back and didn't get it again.

'It broke me. I had
two days when I was really down about it, but I thought to myself: “I'm
not going to let this beat me, I'm going again!” All my friends and
family were like, “Don't go. You're just going to get upset, you know
what you were like last time.” And I said, “I'm going! Watch, I'll do it this year.”

'I really believed I could do it, I envisaged
myself doing it and what it would be like once I'd done it and it came true. So you think, you act and you
become. Think that you can do it and you can.'

Speaking of his debut single, a cover
of the iconic White Stripes song, Marcus said: 'Seven Nation Army was
done quite quickly. I'm really pleased with it. We went through YouTube
and found something from back in the day that was really iconic and was
going to work.

'I wanted to do something that people wouldn't quickly forget and it really strong for a first single.

Poser: Marcus has kept his own copy of winner's single Cannonball to keep him 'grounded'

Poser: Marcus has kept his own copy of winner's single Cannonball to keep him 'grounded'

'It's just one little flavour of
what's going to be on the album. We've put a ska rhythm to it, so
there's a bit of something different. I like mixing things together and
changing things up – like when I was on the show, I did Superstition (by
Stevie Wonder), but mixed it with INXS (performing Need You Tonight).

'On the album, I'm taking songs from
the past that have really inspired me, like Luther Vandross, Bill
Withers, Diana Ross and The Supremes. I've taken little influences from
all these amazing artists and mixed it with a contemporary feel to keep
it modern and fresh, but still nodding towards old school.'

And despite coming from a show notorious for manufacturing its alumni, Marcus has a creative input.

'I love the writing and creative side. It's very therapeutic and a good chance for me to vent.

'The second we finished the show on
December 11, I was back in Liverpool by the 12th with my pen and paper. I
literally had so much to say and this was the perfect opportunity to
get it across.'

Having stayed in the competition until the epic final, some might think Marcus was sad to be second.

Kitsch: Marcus' debut video features quirky dancing as he finds his niche in the charts

Kitsch: Marcus' debut video features quirky dancing as he finds his niche in the charts

Shut up! A female hand covers Marcus' mouth, as he sports his iconic bow tie

Shut up! A female hand covers Marcus' mouth, as he sports his iconic bow tie

But when asked if hearing Cannonball,
the winner's single by Little Mix, is bittersweet, he said: 'I really
love it. It's an emotional song and I'm lucky enough to still have my
own version of it.

'I listen to now and then, and think,
“Wow!”, that really brings me back down to earth with how far I've come
and that I even got to record the winner's single in the first place.'

Marcus and his fellow contestants are
just about to embark on The X Factor tour tomorrow, with final
rehearsals taking place today in Manchester at the MEN Arena.

'I'm very excited for the tour! I've
got five songs to do, so it's a lot of work. I'm really enjoying it and
the choreography is looking good, and it's great to catch up with
everyone.'

Debut single: Seven Nation Army hits shelves on March 4

Debut single: Seven Nation Army hits shelves on March 4

However, Marcus has remained in touch with the majority of the gang even without the aid of touring to bond them together.

'I watched Frankie (Cocozza) on
Celebrity Big Brother and am so pleased the public go to see the other
side of him, because he is such a kind and genuine lad.

'I think he just
puts up a bit of a tough man front because he is only 19, he's one of
the lads. He's a really genuine, warm nice guy and he's really
passionate about things – that's the Italian about him.

'He tweeted me
the other day to say he was proud as he heard my song come on the
radio.

'I spoke to Jonjo (Kerr) recently too, he's off to Afghanistan soon.
Craig (Colton) keeps in touch, telling me about his personal
trainer.

'I saw Misha B the other day, we had coffee and she told me about
her music. And I've spoken to Amelia (Lily) about her hair. I speak to
them all.'

Clearly a social butterfly, with an
infectious penchant for chatting, it may seem out of character to hear
that Marcus is keen to keep his private life separate from his personal
one.

He explained: 'Fans want to see every
side of you. It takes a certain personality trait or character to be
able to share so much of your private life.

'I try my best to really connect with
them, and over Christmas I took pictures of festive things around the
house and showed them. I try to stay as on the money with them as I can,
and give them whatever it is that they need, but there are certain
things that I believe are best kept to yourself.

'I personally don't like to
over-share with my private life because it's not that interesting and I
think people would probably be bored.'

But viewers certainly wouldn't find his opinions boring, as Marcus speculated about life on a panel.

'I don't think I'd be Mr Nasty, but I'd be Mr Honest – which is sometimes Mr Nasty.

'You've got to be cruel to be kind, I'd just tell the truth and sometimes the truth hurts and that's something that I'm learning very, very quickly about myself.'

Seven Nation Army is released on March 4, with the self-titled album hitting shelves on March 12