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Rylan Clark-Neal reveals he 'played the game' to progress in his career

The It Takes Two star opened up about the beginnings of his career

rylan clark neal
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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It Takes Two star Rylan Clark has quickly become one of daytime TV’s most recognisable faces and is known for being witty, warm and honest - but the TV presenter has revealed that he wasn’t always so authentic in the early stages of his career.

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In an interview with The Guardian, Rylan talked about his time on the X Factor: "I played a character when I was on there," he said. "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."

WATCH: Rylan shows a sneak peek at his new home

He also opened up about when he cried hysterically in front of Nicole Scherzinger on the show and said it wasn’t an act. He explained: "We were drinking in the pool until about 7 am and it was 50-degree heat and I’d had an hour’s sleep," he said. "I knew I only needed a week on the live shows to earn a bit of money and set myself up for a while."

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In the same interview, he recalled going home after finishing the ITV singing competition and revealed the difficulties he faced coming out of a reality show: "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 4 am 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."

it takes two

Rylan hosts It Takes Two with Janette Manrara

Since then, Rylan’s career has gone from strength to strength, with successful presenting gigs on This Morning, Supermarket Sweep and It Takes Two. He also released an autobiography in 2016, which reached number one in the Sunday Times Bestsellers List, and has made guest appearances in TV shows and films. 

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