TV presenter Rylan reveals all about taking fame tips from Barbara Windsor, Big Brother v lockdown, and his daily battle to win over the doubters.
What was lockdown like for you?
I’ve no complaints because my house has a garden and I was eventually able to start working remotely. I did get a bit of cabin fever, but I’ve lived in the Big Brother house, so maybe I’m a bit more versed in it.
Do you consider winning Big Brother your career highlight so far?
I think after The X Factor it was an opportunity to show people that I’m actually quite normal. That was the start of what I do now, so I look back on it really fondly.
What made you want to get into showbiz?
I think it was the drama of it all. I was a little bit obsessed, and I loved Big Brother from day one. Originally I wanted to sing but I quickly realised I wasn’t going to be the best singer, so let’s just have a bit of fun.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
It was from Barbara Windsor, of all people. I was in Selfridges buying underwear, and I bumped into her after meeting her on The X Factor a few weeks before. Her husband Scott was there and I said: “Oh, nice to meet you”, and she said, “No darling, you’ve met him before”.
She told me: “Always nice to see you, never nice to meet you, because you’ve probably met them already.” That’s got me out of so many scrapes – I think I’ve actually got jobs with it.
When you joined the BBC you said people underestimated you because of your reality show past – is that still the case?
Absolutely. Nowadays, doing The One Show, there are people who last saw me on X Factor. Every day is a prove yourself day.
How do you choose which jobs to take on?
I’m very lucky – for every job I say yes to I probably say no to about five. People say I’m the busiest man on telly, and sometimes must think, “Why is he doing that?” It’s usually just something I like.
Do you ever get burned out?
Yeah, it happened a couple of years ago. I was doing This Morning, Big Brother and bits in between, so I was getting up at six, finishing at midnight and getting home at two. I was doing that for four or five years, and it did get too much – but I still had a lot to prove. When you come from reality TV, people assume you don’t deserve it, so I wanted to show people I was a grafter and I didn’t expect anything.
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