Ross Richard "Rylan" Clark-Neal (né Clark; born 25 October 1988), known professionally as Rylan, is an English presenter, television personality, singer and model, best known for finishing in fifth place on the ninth series of The X Factor in 2012, and for winning Celebrity Big Brother 11 in January 2013.
Early and personal life
Clark-Neal was born Ross Richard Clark on 25 October 1988 in Stepney, East London, and grew up in Stanford-le-Hope, Essex, to mother Linda Clark. He was raised by his mother and his older brother Jamie (b 1974). His early career was working for Optical Express in Lakeside Shopping Centre. He is openly gay. He is also a voice for animals and, in June 2013, posed naked for an anti-fur PETA campaign to speak against the fur industry. He explained, "I just don’t agree with animals getting killed just to be worn."
Clark-Neal has been a part-time model since he was 16. It was during his early modelling career that he adopted the stage name "Rylan" as it was more unusual. He was in several Take That and Westlife tribute bands in Ibiza, and was also part of a Spanish boy band called 4bidden until January 2010.
2010: John Bishop's Britain
2011: Signed by Katie Price
2012: The X Factor
In May 2012, Clark-Neal auditioned for the ninth series of The X Factor at The O2 Arena in London, in front of Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow, Tulisa and guest judge Rita Ora. He amused the judges and the studio audience with his friendly banter and bubbly personality, before singing a dance version of Des'ree's "Kissing You". Barlow said afterwards: "Rylan, love your personality, hate your voice, really strange song choice as well" Walsh also admitted that he was "a bit worried". Barlow gave Clark-Neal a "no", but Ora, Contostavlos and Walsh all decided to say "yes" and put him through to bootcamp.
At bootcamp, Clark-Neal sang The Pussycat Dolls' "Don't Cha" (again with a dance twist), with former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger now a judge. After his performance, Barlow admitted: "[I] Think he's going to haunt me throughout this competition." Barlow was reluctant to send Clark-Neal through to judges' houses, but the other three judges were in favour of him advancing. Clark-Neal was eventually put through into the boys category with Scherzinger as his mentor. At judges' houses in Dubai, Clark-Neal performed a stripped-back rendition of Rihanna's "We Found Love" in front of Scherzinger and Ne-Yo. Scherzinger later put Clark-Neal through to live shows as one of her final three, along with James Arthur and Jahméne Douglas. She told him: "Rylan, it's such a big risk... but I have to take it, and you are in my final three.", and then Clark-Neal appeared to have an immense breakdown on the spot.
Clark-Neal sang "Gold" by Spandau Ballet in the first week of the live shows, and was in the bottom two with Carolynne Poole the following night. Scherzinger backed Clark-Neal as he was her own act, while Barlow and Contostavlos opted to save Poole, based on the final showdown performance. This left Walsh with the deciding vote, but he appeared unable to make up his mind. After hesitating for some time, he eventually said "I'm going to with Carolynne, I want to keep Carolynne.", although he had to say who wanted to send home, not who he wanted to save. Eventually, after being pressured for an answer by presenter Dermot O'Leary, Walsh exclaimed "I want to take it to deadlock". O'Leary then revealed that Clark-Neal had received more public votes and Poole was sent home, much to the disgust of her mentor, Barlow, who stormed off stage and later called Clark-Neal a "joke act" and "talentless".
In week 2, Clark-Neal persisted to wind Barlow up by first performing part of Barlow's "Back for Good", and then claiming afterwards that he had booked him a cab in advance in case he stormed off stage again-to which Barlow responded "That's funny 'cause I've had yours on hold for two weeks." That week Clark-Neal was put through to week three on the public vote. In week five, he was in the bottom two again with Kye Sones, but was saved by the public vote after the judges' votes were deadlocked. In week 7, Clark revealed on The Xtra Factor that his psychic had told him he would make it to week 7 of the competition before leaving, but the following night he was put through to by the public vote, before being eliminated by the judges in week 8, with only his mentor Scherzinger voting to save him over Union J.
|The X Factor performances and results|
|First audition||Free choice||"Kissing You"||Through to bootcamp|
|Bootcamp – stage 1||Group performance||"Respect"|
with Ottavio Columbro and Gathan Cheema
|Through to stage 2|
|Bootcamp – stage 2||Solo performance||"Don't Cha"||Through to judges' houses|
|Judges' houses||Free choice||"We Found Love"||Through to live shows|
|Live show 1||Heroes||"Gold"||Bottom two (12th)|
|Final showdown||"One Night Only"||Saved (Deadlock)|
|Live show 2||Love and heartbreak||"Back for Good" / "Groove Is in the Heart" / "Gangnam Style" / "Pump Up the Jam"||Safe (3rd)|
|Live show 3||Club classics||"On the Floor" / "Don't Stop the Music" / "I See You Baby"||Safe (4th)|
|Live show 4||Halloween||"Toxic" / "Horny" / "Poison"||Safe (7th)|
|Live show 5||Number-ones||"Hung Up" / "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"||Bottom two (7th)|
|Final showdown||"Kissing You"||Saved (Deadlock)|
|Live show 6||Best of British||"Say You'll Be There" / "Who Do You Think You Are" / "Wannabe" / "Spice Up Your Life"||Safe (5th)|
|Live show 7||Guilty pleasures||"Girls on Film" / "When Will I Be Famous?"||Safe (3rd)|
|Live show 8||Songs by ABBA||"Mamma Mia"||Bottom two (5th)|
|Motown songs||"Baby Love" / "Stop! In the Name of Love" / "You Keep Me Hangin' On"|
Celebrity Big Brother
Clark-Neal became a housemate in the eleventh series of Celebrity Big Brother in January 2013. He was the second celebrity to enter the Big Brother House. On launch night, he and Italian jockey Frankie Dettori selected which celebrities would join them in the House and who would be banished to the Basement. It was revealed mid-way through the series that, contrary to the show's rules of staying in the Big Brother House throughout the series, Clark-Neal had been leaving the house each Sunday to rehearse for The X Factor Live Tour, which began a day after the live final on 25 January. He made it to the final five, alongside Neil "Razor" Ruddock, Claire Richards, Ryan Moloney, and Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt (Heidi & Spencer being counted as a single housemate). Clark-Neal was announced as the winner during the live final, after which he broke down into tears like he did during the X Factor judges' houses.
On 14 May 2013, as part of a revamp by Channel 5, Clark-Neal alongside AJ Odudu were announced as the new co-hosts of Big Brother's Bit on the Side, replacing Jamie East and Alice Levine; Willis herself replaced Brian Dowling as the host of Big Brother. In Early 2015 Willis left the show to focus on presenting the main show, leaving Rylan to present the show solo every-night. In the 2015 series of Celebrity Big Brother UK vs USA, Rylan also presented Bit on the Side at the weekends and it was renamed Bit on the State Side and was filmed in an American style studio.
Since the tenth series of The X Factor, Clark-Neal has provided all the gossip from the show on This Morning. He also acted as a Hub presenter until its removal from the show in 2014. Since late 2015 he has also been credited as the main relief presenter. He is most notably relief presented with Ruth Langsford when co-presenter Eammon Holmes was off for 10 weeks. He has also presented with others including Lorraine Kelly and Holly Willoughby. In July 2016, he presented an episode of This Morning with his husband Dan Neal.
In October 2015, Clark-Neal co-presented a special edition of Most Haunted Live with Jamie East on Really. It became the highest rated show the channel had ever seen, out performing Channel 4 and 5 in its time slot.
It was confirmed on 1 July 2016 that Clark-Neal would co-host The Xtra Factor alongside Matt Edmondson. This will be the second time a former X Factor contestant has co-hosted the series, the first being Olly Murs, who co-hosted from 2011-2012.
On 21 January 2016, Clark-Neal announced on his Twitter account that he would release an autobiography titled "The Life of Rylan" on 30 June 2016. He appeared as Ryan, an air steward, in the 2016 film Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.
In 2015, Clark-Neal won The Telegraph's 'LGBT Celebrity of the Year' award.
|2010||John Bishop's Britain||BBC One||Model||4 Episodes|
|2011||Signed by Katie Price||Sky Living||Contestant||Runner-up|
|2012||The X Factor||ITV||Contestant||5th place|
|2012||The Xtra Factor||ITV2||Contestant||5th Place|
|2013||Celebrity Big Brother||Channel 5||Housemate||Winner|
|2012–2013||Daybreak||ITV||Guest Entertainment Presenter|
|2013—||This Morning||Ryland Presenter||Weekdays|
|2013–2014||This Morning's Hub||Presenter|
|2013—||Big Brother's Bit on the Side||Channel 5||Presenter|
|Celebrity Big Brother's Bit on the Side||Presenter|
|2013–2014||The Wright Stuff||Guest Pannellist|
|2014||Big Brother's Bit on The Pysch||Presenter|
|2014||Celebrity Big Brother||Presenter||2 Episodes|
|2015||Celebrity Big Brother's Bit on The State Side||Presenter|
|2015||Celebrity MasterChef||BBC One||Contestant||Final 3|
|Most Haunted Live!||Really||Presenter||Halloween special|
|2016||Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway||SNT Productions Figure|
|2016—||Up Late with Rylan||Channel 5||Presenter||Primetime Chatfest|
|The Xtra Factor||ITV2||Presenter||Series 13|
|Codswallop||Presenter||Upcoming Panel show|
- Guest appearances
- Loose Women (8 February 2013, 6 June 2013, 11 September 2013, 23 January 2014, 13 May 2016 & 11 July 2016)
- Sweat the Small Stuff (14 May 2013)
- All Star Family Fortunes (29 June 2013)
- Tipping Point: Lucky Stars (2013)
- Never Mind the Buzzcocks (21 October 2013)
- Fake Reaction (27 February 2014)
- The Feeling Nuts Comedy Night (24 October 2014)
- All Star Mr & Mrs (4 November 2015)
|2016||Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie||Ryan||Air steward|
|2016–2017||The Worlds Biggest Panto (Snow White)||Evil Huntsman|