Rylan Clark-Neal explains how a Louis Theroux documentary stirred his sexual awakening

Patrick Kelleher
·2-min read

Rylan Clark-Neal has revealed that a Louis Theroux documentary helped him realise that he was gay when he was just 10-years-old.

The television presenter, who rose to fame on The X Factor, told Theroux on his Grounded podcast that an episode of his Weird Weekends series helped him figure out his sexuality.

When Theroux asked Rylan if he always knew he was gay, Rylan replied: “Yeah, I think so, and that’s quite difficult because I didn’t even know what gay was.

“I knew I was different, I didn’t know what. I never thought about being with a boy, or I’m going to be with a man when I’m older, but I never really thought about having a wife.”

He went on to tell Theroux that he has seen “a lot” of his documentaries, and said he “remembers vividly” an episode about gay porn that aired in the late 1990s.

“I remember being aroused,” Rylan said. “I remember going to bed one night and you did a documentary on gay porn, I think it was on BBC Two, it was at 10 o’clock at night.

“I was in bed, I remember putting it on with the volume down, turning it off cause I was scared my mum was gonna walk in… I remember that vividly.”

Louis Theroux is ‘the reason’ Rylan Clark-Neal is gay

Theroux told him that the documentary aired in 1998, saying Rylan must have been just 10-years-old at the time, and went on to joke that he had “played a small role” in making the TV personality gay.

“Maybe you’re the reason I’m gay… Yep,” Rylan replied. “‘Louis Theroux made me gay.’ There’s your headline.”

The interview comes just months after Rylan said he realised that “being gay isn’t a bad thing” when Brian Dowling won the second season of Big Brother.

Speaking to Davina McCall in June, Rylan said: “For me being 13, 14, thinking I was gay, knowing I was gay at that time, seeing someone like Brian who was an adult going through the same thing, it was a bit of a moment for me. ‘Oh, it’s alright for him. Maybe being gay isn’t a bad thing.’

“The amount of people who would say, ‘I don’t like gay people but he seems funny.’ It’s things like that is the start of people changing their mindset.”