Rylan Clark-Neal says he'll always hate how he looks because of childhood bullying

Katie Archer
·Contributor
·2-min read
Rylan Clark-Neal (Getty)
Rylan Clark-Neal (Getty)

Rylan Clark-Neal has opened up about his body confidence issues after suffering childhood bullying, saying “I’ll never be happy with the way I look”.

The TV presenter is recognisable to many for his dark hair, beard and tan, but Clark-Neal looked very different in his school days when his hair was still its natural shade of red.

However, he told The Sun that cruel bullies had destroyed his confidence with their taunts about his hair, weight and sexuality, with long-lasting effects that still bother him now.

Rylan Clark Neal attending the BBC Radio 1 Teen Awards, held at the SSE Wembley Arena in London. See PA Story SHOWBIZ Teen.
Rylan Clark Neal says he still struggles with body confidence (PA)

Clark-Neal said: "At school I was the little fat ginger kid and used to get picked on. I was quite camp, so the gay thing played its part. I used to start dying my hair at 14.”

The Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two presenter admitted that in the past he had gone “too far” with botox and fillers, but that even though he still wasn’t happy with his appearance, he had made his peace with it.

After finding fame as a contestant on The X Factor, Clark-Neal went on to win Celebrity Big Brother and then landed a job as a Big Brother presenter - but said that his success had added to his issues with his looks.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Rylan Clark-Neal attends the Audio Radio & Industry Awards 2020 at London Palladium on March 04, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
Clark-Neal says he's at peace with his feelings now (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

He said: “I would love nothing more than to grow my hair out, stop colouring it, not have to trim my beard...but I created a look that people recognise.”

Calling himself “the opposite of body confident”, he admitted it had not helped to get into a career which “gives people free for all to judge how I look”.

Read more: Rylan Clark-Neal’s early fail at Big Brother fame

Explaining that he felt very insecure about his looks, Clark-Neal said that he had gradually grown to accept his feelings.

He added: "I'll never be fully happy with the way I look, but I'm happy I know that, if that makes sense?”

Watch: Rylan Clark-Neal’s shocking Big Brother confession