Since appearing on The X Factor in 2012, Rylan Clark-Neal has been a regular on our TV screens, especially on popular daytime show This Morning.
However, he recently announced that he would be departing the ITV programme, telling Eammon Holmes and Ruth Langsford: “I’ve not really said anything but after Christmas, next Friday, I’m going to be going away for a little bit.
“It’s definitely not goodbye but I’m going to be taking a little bit of a break in the new year. But I just want to say thank you because it’s been lovely and I will be back.
“I’m like an STD, I always come back.”
It was certainly a gag that only he could get away with, whilst he also joked that he would become a florist with Elizabeth from The Apprentice during his time away.
Later on in the week, Holly Willoughby expressed her sadness at Rylan’s exit, saying: ‘I feel like you’re our child who is going off travelling to explore new things. You must come back and see us!”
With no reason given for his departure, and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Here! winner Georgia ‘Toff’ Toffolo already lined up as his replacement for the ‘Showbiz Gossip’ section of the show, many viewers jumped to the conclusion that Rylan had been sacked by programme bosses.
Yet the 29-year-old took to Twitter to quash these rumours.
He told his 1.5 million followers: “Truth is I need a break. I’ve been working constantly for 5 years and I need time to myself. “I’ll still be at Big Bro. I just need to take some time to myself. That’s all. I’ll be back soon.”
Fans soon inundated the presenter with messages of support, with one writing: “I was wondering last year how on earth you could do it all. Have a good rest if you can, after CBB. We will miss you though!”
A second enthused: “As if they would axe you. You’re their best presenter.”
However, many Tweeters were not as sympathetic, suggesting that Rylan was no different to anyone else in having to work all the time.
“Try working 20 years for the NHS we could all do with a break!”, one vented, whilst another sarcastically wrote: “It must be exhausting talking for 20 minutes on telly.”
The abuse led to Rylan deleting the original post and replacing it with a GIF of him rolling his eyes, captioned: “WHEN YOU PIT A NICE LITTLE TWEET UP AND PEOPLE PIPE UP….. I’ll just keep it simple……. I’ve not been sacked from @thismorning just having some time off that’s all. Night”
Earlier today, he added: “One last time. I’m having a little break from @thismorning I’m very lucky to be working a lot and I appreciate it. Everyone works hard in all industries I’m just taking a break that’s all. I’ve not been sacked, not pregnant, just having a little time off. See you on @bbuk x”
EastEnders actress Daniella Westbrook and Love Island star Olivia Jade Atwood were amongst the celebrities to come out in support of Rylan.
Born in East London, Rylan had a failed application for the eighth series of Big Brother and was part of Take That and Westlife tribute bands in Ibiza before first appearing on our TV screens in 2010 in four episodes of John Bishop’s Britain on BBC One. The following year, he finished as the runner-up in the modelling competition Signed by Katie Price, which aired on Sky Living.
But it was on The X Factor in 2012 that he really entered the public eye, with his outgoing and bubbly personality making him standout throughout the competition. Despite judge Gary Barlow labelling him a “joke act” and “talentless”, Rylan made it to the eighth live show, putting on multiple lively performances along the way, before being eliminated.
From there, his fame continued to rise and just two months after competing in The X Factor, Rylan won the eleventh series of Celebrity Big Brother, beating the likes of former football Neil Ruddock and American TV personality Spencer Pratt in the final.
Presenting gig after presenting gig followed, including Most Haunted Live, The Xtra Factor and Big Brother’s Bit on the Side. He is still the face of the latter, and will continue to be when it returns at the start of 2018.
He has been a regular on This Morning since 2014, featuring in ‘the gossip’ section, and also co-presenting the entire show alongside the likes of Ruth Langsford and Holly Willoughby when regulars Eamonn Holmes and Phil Schofield have been absent. He was nominated for a National Television Award in the Best Presenter category in both 2016 and 2017, but lost out to Ant and Dec on both occasions.
In 2016, he was given his own chat show by Channel 5 but this lasted for just one series due to poor ratings. Since May this year he has presented ITV game show Babushka.
As well as reaching the final of Celebrity MasterChef in 2015, Rylan also has acting credits in the Sky 1 comedy series Stella as well as Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, in which he guest starred alongside Pitch Perfect’s Rebel Wilson.
Add in the fact that he wrote a best-selling autobiography titled The Life of Rylan in 2016, and it is easily seen that the last few years certainly have been hectic for Rylan, who married former policeman Dan Neal in 2015. Do you think his time off is justified?