Gay British TV entertainer Rylan Clark-Neal has talked about being ‘hated’ when he took part in the X Factor.
Clark-Neal is now the popular host of Supermarket Sweep and Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two and takes part in a host of other shows. But he first came to fame when he finished ninth in the X Factor in 2012.
And now he’s told BBC Radio 4 how fearful he was that his mom would read the negative coverage about him.
He even said he was given ‘worse press’ than the late British entertainer Jimmy Savile, who had been exposed as a pedophile.
He said: ‘I was hated. There was two people on the front pages of the papers at the time that I was on X Factor.
‘It was me and Jimmy Savile and six out of seven days I’d get worse press than him like that says something.’
He urged his mom, Linda, 68, not to read the papers as some X Factor fans claimed he was taking a valuable place that should have gone to another contestant.
He said: ‘They were saying I don’t deserve it, I’m robbing people of places, which is fine. The only reason I found it difficult – I’d just sit there and think about my mum.
‘I told her don’t read nothing, don’t look at anything, just let me do what I do, I know what I’m doing. Trust me, it’s going to be difficult but just let me do it.’
Big Brother success
However, Rylan’s popularity soon soared. Shortly after the X Factor, he joined the eleventh series of Celebrity Big Brother in January 2013.
And when he heard he had won Celebrity Big Brother in the live final, he broke down in tears.
He told Radio 4 that he was paid £100,000 and felt like he had ‘won the lottery’. However he later realized that some stars had been paid five times that amount.
He said: ‘When you realize how much money there is in television and what other people get paid to do the same experience or less than you, it’s quite shocking sometimes.’
However, the Big Brother house was to have another reward in store for him. In September 2014 Rylan Clark got engaged to Big Brother 14 housemate Dan Neal. And in November 2015, the couple got married – becoming the Clark-Neals.
Rylan on same-sex Strictly
More recently, Rylan has co-hosted the backstage action from Strictly Come Dancing – the UK equivalent of Dancing With The Stars.
This series that briefly included the first same-sex dancing pair on the show – boxer Nicola Adams and her pro partner Katya Jones.
Speaking to the MailOnline last month, he said the viewers that complained about the pairing could always ‘turn over’.
And he was ‘sure it won’t be the last time’ that Strictly has a same-sex partnership. The show refused to include same-sex couples for years but achieved a big boost in viewers when Adams and Jones took part.