Rylan Clark-Neal says he played up to a ‘gay stereotype’ on The X Factor
Rylan Clark-Neal has admitted that he played up to a “gay stereotype” while appearing on The X Factor.
The out TV host first found fame appearing on the musical reality show in 2012, before going on to find fame presenting on This Morning and Big Brother.
Speaking to The Guardian, Clark-Neal revealed that he presented a fictional version of himself on The X Factor.
He said: “I played a character when I was on there.
“I knew I had to be the gay stereotype that was on the front of the papers every day. And I did my job well.
“I played the game.”
He also spoke about the lack of aftercare following his time on The X Factor, which has become a contentious issue in reality TV following a death that led to the cancellation of the Jeremy Kyle Show.
Rylan Clark-Neal: I played a character
Clark-Neal said: “The second you walk out, you are on your own. I was very lucky.
“After the X Factor tour, I went back home … it was the first time I’d been in a room on my own for eight months, without anyone watching me.
“I remember waking up at 4am and thinking: ‘It’s over.’
“If the phone hadn’t rung with the Big Brother job a few weeks later, I don’t know what I’d have done.”
TV host recalls homophobic attacks
Elsewhere in the interview, Clark-Neal recalled being hospitalised in a homophobic incident as a child in Essex.
He said: “Probably because they thought I was gay, although I don’t remember any of it. One minute I was on the rope swings, the next I was on the floor.”
The host, who made history presenting This Morning alongside his husband in 2016, added that homophobia is far from dead, referencing an attack on a same-sex couple aboard a London bus.
He said: “I saw all the statuses saying: ‘I can’t believe this is happening in 2019,’ but every day on my Twitter feed I’ll get: ‘You’re gay, you’re a c**t, people like you should be killed because you’re gay.’ Will things ever change?”
In January, Clark-Neal revealed he faced homophobic slurs on a London street, when he was accosted by thugs who shouted “f**k off, you faggot” at him.
Taking to Twitter, the TV star quipped: “To the prick on Great Portland Street that just shouted ‘F**k Off You Faggot’ at me. When I shouted you what at you and you run away…. you run like phoebe in friends…”
He added: “Sad these things still do happen but just remember… Unless they paying your bills, pay them b****es no mind.”