Rylan Clark-Neal has revealed that he almost became a TV star at 18, but was dropped from Big Brother at the last minute – going on to pick up a £100k pay cheque for the celebrity version years later.
Asked about reality TV contestants struggling to adjust to normal life after fame, he talked about his own experience.
He said: “It's really common, and I can say that from experience because when I was 18 I was going into the Big Brother house into the civilian version and long story short, I was in hiding, had my suitcases all changed over ready to go in and a story came out, which meant I couldn't go in and I didn't end up going in then.”
Watch: Rylan Clark-Neal makes a shocking confession about his time on Big Brother
Clark-Neal said that when he eventually landed a job presenting the show after winning Celebrity Big Brother he became familiar with the “Talk of Doom” that had been given to him as a teen, explaining to contestants how difficult life would be after appearing on the show.
Talking about the warning chat, he said: “Back then it was really scary. I now understand why that's done because at that stage people do go, ‘Ah I’m not doing it then, nah I don’t want to do it’.”
But Clark-Neal’s early rejection from the show turned out to be a good thing as he was signed up for Celebrity Big Brother after appearing on The X Factor.
He said: “I got £100,000 to be in (Celebrity) Big Brother. So to me, I'd won the lottery.”
Clark-Neal also talked about being “hated” by the public as an X Factor contestant.
He said: “There was two people on the front pages of the papers at the time that I was on X Factor. It was me and Jimmy Savile and six out of seven days I'd get worse press than him, like that says something.”
Radio 4’s Grounded with Louis Theroux is available now on BBC sounds.
Watch: Rylan Clark-Neal thinks Cheryl could be a Strictly judge