Back presenting Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, Rylan Clark has cemented his place as a favourite in the nation’s hearts. We talk to him about the latest series of Celeb Big Brother.
When do you first start to feel excited that Celebrity Big Brother is back?
I get excited two weeks after I leave the previous series! I’m like, “What’s going on next year, when’s the house getting redesigned, who’s going in?” I love it. I’m like a kid. I am the biggest Big Brother fan, so I have got my dream job.
It must be a big part of your year now?
I plan my year around Big Brother. The ironic thing is, even before I worked on Big Brother, I used to plan my year around Big Brother as well, which is quite sad, but at least I’m getting paid for it now!
What can you tell us about this year’s house theme?
People love a fairy tale to have a happy ending but imagine if it turned into a nightmare. It’s not up to us whether it’s a happy ending or a nightmare, it’s up to them!
You won Celebrity Big Brother two years ago, what advice would you give to any new housemates?
My advice to anyone would be to ask, what do you want from this? Do you want the experience? Are you doing it for money? Are you doing it to start a career or are you doing it to end a career? Are you confident enough in yourself as a person to be under a microscope 24 hours a day? In Big Brother every single inch of that house is covered. So I treated Big Brother as rehab – it was exactly what I needed. I was the most famous man in the country at that point, I needed to get away and it was either that or The Priory and I chose Big Brother [laughs]! It was the best decision I have made in my life. A lot of people go in there at the end of their career. I went in there before I even had one.
What’s your best bit of advice to the voting public?
Sometimes the strongest characters are voted out first. That is where the public moan, going, “Oh, we’ve lost the drama”. All I would say to the public is you’re the ones in control, so keep the entertaining characters in the house. Just because you don’t like someone doesn’t mean you should get rid of them. We like to see the arguments; we like to see the people rubbing people up the wrong way.
What are your favourite CBB moments?
Obviously, classics like Denise Welch going topless in the hot tub! Certainly, the Heidi and Spencer row, as a housemate from that series, I will never forget that! It was on the Friday night in the live show and Heidi and Spencer had just returned to the house. Everyone thought I wouldn’t say anything and I just went off. The credits start running and you see me kick off!
Who are your favourite CBB housemates of all time?
Heidi and Spencer were great because they gave me a row and I love a row! Loudmouths are great characters, they work for the show, but the ones that I find really work for the show now are the Americans because a lot of them don’t know what they are letting themselves in for. Americans come over and they are genuinely blindsided. Heidi and Spencer did not realise they couldn’t leave. I interviewed Evander Holyfield before he walked in and I said, “How are you going to deal with boredom?” And he said, “I’ll just go to the shop”. He was told he couldn’t but he just thought he could do what he wanted. But you can’t. That’s it. When you’re in, you’re in.
What qualities make the most entertaining housemate?
For me an entertaining housemate is one of two things and they are both polar opposites. One is someone who goes in there with nothing to lose. The other is someone who has got a lot to lose and tries their hardest not to lose it but the game just catches up with them. No one can keep up an act in there for that long.
What has been your favourite task?
I love the ‘ignore the obvious’ tasks. So Big Brother will either freeze time and friends and family will come in and you have to ignore them, or once it was called ‘remote control’ where BB pressed pause and everyone’s family walked in and spoke to housemates. They are the best ones because you’re just like, “Argh! What would you do?”
If you could choose anybody to go into the house, what top three celebs would be on your wish list, and why?
If it was my call and money wasn’t an option I would have had Joan Rivers, God bless her. I would love to see Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks and Kate Moss. All the supermodels in there with no make- up, arguments, ripping out each other’s wigs!
If you could design the BB house, how would you like it to be?
My dream is to work with Patrick Watson, who is the house designer, and one year, I would love to sit down with him and do it together! Because I have been in there!
Did you ever think two years ago that you’d be hosting Big Brother’s Bit On The Side?
Never in a million years! In my eyes you only go in that house once, and if you watch the night I won, when I go up the stairs and it says, “You are the winner” I turned round and took one last look because you are only in that moment once.
So you’re a genuine fan?
I love it. I’ve even got a diary room chair! When I was a kid I used to stick the Big Brother eye on my suitcase and write my name under it so I could pretend I was on Big Brother. I also worked in a pub when I was 18 and they had a fire escape that looked like the Big Brother stairs and whenever I got tipsy I’d walk up and down thinking I was on the show.
It must make it a pleasure to go to work…
It is the easiest thing I have done in my life because someone can bring up something from ten years ago and I know exactly what they are going on about. I could recite it word for word. It’s like I’m doing my dream job, I really am.
What do you enjoy most about presenting?
I love the audience. It could never work without the audience and we have some die-hard fans that love it. It’s great to involve the fans and in the last couple of series’, we’ve been using BB fans as part of some of tasks. It’s our way of saying thanks.
What’s it like working with Emma?
I love Emma, she is the best person. The best thing about Emma is that I can look at her and learn so much. Every single day I learn something from her.
It does seem like you genuinely get on…
We do. Emma and I don’t see each other every single week but Big Brother is such a big part of both of our lives, if I have to talk about Big Brother to someone who I know is going to be as excited as I am, I ring Emma.
How has your life changed since working on Big Brother?
From it being my favourite show growing up, I have not only been on it, won it, work on it, I get to talk about it every single day! So it has had an impact on every aspect of my life.