Words: Alastair James; pictures: ITV
Reality TV star and presenter, Rylan Clark, has opened up about the impact his divorce has had on him in the last year in a frank and honest interview, admitting that "it got bad" and that he needed help.
Last September, it was announced that Rylan and his husband of six years, Dan Neal, were getting divorced after separating in June, according to reports at the time. In a statement, Rylan said he'd made "a number of mistakes," which he regretted and had "inevitably led to the breakdown of our marriage."
Rylan, who is gay, shot to fame on The X Factor in 2011. He has since gone on the present The One Show, This Morning, and Supermarket Sweep.
"I didn’t think it would get better"
In an interview with The Observer, published on Sunday (16 January), Clark speaks honestly about how much the end of his marriage impacted him, saying he got to a point where he wasn't sure he could come back from, or even work again.
"I’d got… quite ill, he continues adding that he lost weight, going down from just over 9st and is 6ft 4in. "It got bad. Like, very bad. And I didn’t think it would get better. I needed help," he says.
Laughing that people knew something was wrong when Clark didn't appear for his presenting duties at last year's Eurovision, the 33-year-old says he "literally felt alone" last summer. He explains that for years he's been able to separate Rylan, his public persona, from his real self, Ross Clark, and that the former is a "brick wall" capable of people taking the piss out of him.
The same can't be said for the latter, he reveals.
Seemingly alluding to the breakdown of his marriage to Neal Rylan says, "when you find out something you always wanted isn’t what you thought it was… I didn’t think I’d be here. I didn’t think I could continue."
Asked if he means to continue working or living he replies, "Both. I didn’t think I’d actually come back. I was very… gone."
Following reports in the Sun in October that he'd been offered a year off from his role presenting at BBC Radio 2, Rylan set the record straight saying on Twitter: "I'm good. I wasn't, but I am now x."
In his interview with the Observer Rylan goes on to say "I did not know myself at certain points. I was having thoughts and doing things that made me… fucked up, for want of a better word. I didn’t understand why I was doing that to myself."
He then confirms he went to the hospital for a short while clarifying "for safety reasons".
Reflecting on the whirlwind success he's enjoyed since coming to fame on The X-Factor 10 years ago says that while the divorce was the trigger for things spiraling slightly, it was also a result of everything happening over the last decade. He admits that he's "so good at being Rylan" but "didn’t realise how much Ross I’d lost".
Wiping away tears, Rylan states that "If it wasn’t for my mum, and my family and close friends I genuinely have no idea if I’d be here," as well as having learned he's worth something and should be proud of himself.
We love you Rylan!
The Attitude February issue is out now.