SINCE shooting to fame as the so-called joke act on The X Factor, it's Rylan Clark-Neal who's had the last laugh.
The 32-year-old has barely had a day off in eight years as he tries to keep up with the lucrative TV offers that keep coming his way.
At one point he was getting up at 5am to present This Morning before preparing for an 11pm Big Brother's Bit on the Side show that same day – and workaholic Rylan admits it took its toll.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Rylan admits he quit This Morning after getting too comfortable.
And he believes he made his exit at the right time – adding he's "gutted" about Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes being axed.
"I haven't been on This Morning for about two years now," Rylan said.
"I had a lovely time there and learnt a lot when it came down to working live and going on to host the show eventually.
"I took a step back and I think it was the right decision for me to get out of that bubble of not really pushing myself.
"I loved This Morning, but now it's nice to sit and watch it from home instead."
He joked: "And I like a lay in too much. I can't deal with the early starts."
Like thousands of other This Morning fans, Rylan was saddened when close friends Ruth and Eamonn were replaced on their regular Friday slot.
Despite being sad to see his TV mum and dad leave, Rylan says there's no one who deserves it more than Big Brother star Alison Hammond who will host alongside Dermot O'Leary.
"There aren't many people I would genuinely heartfelt say I adore, but Alison is one of them," said Rylan.
"She should have been hosting more years ago. She's a joy to be around.
"Ruth and Eamonn are my telly mum and dad who have held my hands for the past ten years and I've held their hands back tightly. I'm obviously gutted I won't be seeing them every Friday.
"I adore Ruth and Eamonn but I really wish Alison and Dermot all the best. Both of them are really decent people. I will be tuning in watching them. I just hope it frees up their time for them to do something else together because they're diamonds. I hope to god we get to see them doing something else."
Since leaving the daytime show on ITV, Rylan was named as the new co-host of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two and landed his very own Radio 2 show.
Most recently he's been announced as the star of Soap & Glory’s new capsule podcast, GLOW & GO, created to launch the brand’s new IN THE GLOW HOW™ 5% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Tonic.
Rylan started off as a make-up artist in Boots selling Soap & Glory products, but has since come full circle.
"It's the bright way to start your day with a podcast that tells you how to use the products properly," said Rylan.
"We're all wearing masks all the time now and our faces are getting battered, so it's just a nice way to take care of yourself."
Body confidence has always been an issue close to Rylan's heart.
The presenter, who is married to former police officer Dan Neal, was mercilessly bullied at secondary school for being “gay, fat and ginger”.
The abuse has left long-lasting scars and Rylan admits he won't ever be happy with how he looks – despite getting botox, fillers and veneers to change his appearance.
"I was never happy with how I looked growing up and I'm still not happy now, but I'm OK with that," said Rylan.
""I went through a stage and took these too far sometimes. I've found a good balance from a skincare point of view and looking after myself from an 'addition' point of view.
"I've always had hang ups about the way I look, then I got into a career where it gives people free for all to judge how I look – I've made the worst choice!
"I'm quite an insecure person and have always struggled with my looks. Everyone thinks I"m confident because I present live telly, but do I feel confident looking in the mirror when I wake up? No.
"Do I feel a bit more confident when I've got makeup on and done my skincare? Yeah I feel confident, but not as confident as I would like to feel.
"I was lucky enough to marry someone who actually looks good all the f***ing time, which annoys me. Absolute b*****d…
"I'd like to have pecks, a six-pack, arms bigger than my legs and f***ing love my life, but it's alright if I don't love the way I look.
"It's OK I'm not body confident, I'm the opposite of body confident, but I'm alright with it.
"It's alright to have hangups. I don't think I'm at a point where I'm frightened to leave the house.
"If someone wants to change something about their appearance, I'm not judging anyone – and no one else should. They can do what they want with their own bodies."
- Rylan's Glow & Go capsule podcast with leading UK beauty brand Soap & Glory is available to download here, with IN THE GLOW HOW™ 5% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Tonic available to purchase at Boots.
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