Now one of the busiest TV and radio presenters in the business, Rylan Clark-Neal shot to fame as the token ‘joke act’ on The X Factor eight years ago.
That was when we witnessed the now iconic scenes of his hysterical wailing at Nicole Scherzinger’s ‘judge’s house’ after she put him through to the live shows.
The host, 31, hasn’t stopped working since, presenting TV shows including the Supermarket Sweep reboot, Ready Steady Cook, Big Brother and regular spots on This Morning. Now he’s making a foray into the fashion world with his new show You Are What You Wear – although he’s keen to point out that he won’t be the one giving style advice. Our sister publication Woman’s Own caught up with Rylan, who revealed how he’s changed over the years…
You seem to be on the telly or radio almost every day. How do you find the time?
I’m actually really lucky – I’ve got to a point where I’ve said no to a lot of things. I went through a good few years where I could only see out of one eye, I felt that tired, but I’m just doing things I want to do now – I’m not overloading myself.
I don’t want to be on every channel every second! There was a point where I was on every f**king channel and it just got too much. But I don’t regret it because I’m where I am now.
For your new show, You Are What You Wear, did you get any tips from your mate Gok Wan?
I did ring Gok when I started doing the show, and he was like, ‘Are you styling people?’ and I was like, ‘No! Don’t be f**king stupid!’ I didn’t need to prepare for it because all I’m doing is talking to people and checking they’re all right. That’s what I do, anyway!
Do you like being the shoulder to cry on?
Yeah, the long-running joke is that I just made people cry for four episodes. I think it just goes to show that we all have insecurities – I know I have, the contributors have and our five stylists have.
How do you think your own style has changed over the years?
I used to dress to get myself noticed. Now I dress to be unnoticed – I think I just grew up. I’m always in a pair of black skinnies and boots, dark shirt and jumper. I think I’ve got my style and it’s linear.
Were you less worried about this show than Ready Steady Cook and Supermarket Sweep?
Yeah, with both of those shows, I felt like I had a point to prove because they were such iconic formats and they’d not been on for 10, 15 years. With Ready Steady Cook, I had zero worries after filming it. With [Supermarket] Sweep, I felt it was a little bit young, whereas I wanted it to be all ages, including Doris from up the road. But see what happens with that soon…
When you do have time off, how do you spend it?
I sit in a tracksuit watching Birds of a Feather with my hands down my trousers – not in a dirty way, it’s just comfortable for a bloke. I like watching early 90s shows like that and Keeping Up Appearances. It makes me happy.
Having got to the finals of Celebrity MasterChef, do you cook at home?
Yeah, I do. Since doing Ready Steady Cook, I feel like I’ve started to cook a bit more again, because I’m picking up things really quickly and it’s f**king easy. I love puri bread, and I usually pay £3.80 for it, but one of our chefs, Romy Gill, is Indian and she taught me that it’s just flour and water. I made some for Dan the other night, and he thought I’d got a takeaway!
Will Celebrity Big Brother come back?
I’ll bring Big Brother back, 100%. I’ll stop at nothing!
Anything left on your bucket list?
A day off! It’s eight years now since 2012 – the year of the [London] Olympics, Golden Jubilee and Rylan – and I’ve had a good eight f**king years. I’m just a lucky b*****d.
You Are What You Wear starts on Thursday, 26 March, BBC One