Rylan Clark's 'traumatic' divorce from husband Dan Neal - cheating, heart failure and regrets

Rylan Clark
TV presenter Rylan Clark has had to nurse a broken heart behind the scenes -Credit:Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Rylan Clark, the TV personality known for his charisma and vibrant presence on screen, has faced a deeply personal struggle away from the limelight.

At 35, Rylan has endured some harrowing moments in the wake of his split from Dan Neal, his partner of six years.

The dissolution of their marriage was particularly poignant as it followed Rylan's admission of infidelity, leading to what he describes as an 'extremely traumatic' period.

The Mirror has now exclusively disclosed that Rylan is venturing back into the dating scene, albeit with a couple of underwhelming experiences so far.

As he takes on the role of host for this year's Eurovision Song Contest's second semi-final, here, we delve into the distressing details of his divorce and the severe impact it had on him, including drastic weight loss and suffering two heart failures....

Romance and painful divorce

Their romance blossomed on the set of Big Brother's Bit on the Side, where Rylan met former police officer Dan during his eviction interview.

Their connection was instant and undeniable, with Rylan recalling their first kiss in late 2013 as the most memorable, telling The Guardian in 2019: "The first one I had with my husband Dan in late 2013. I just knew."

Rylan Clark recently reminisced on his time in Big Brother, revealing how it had not only provided him with a career but also a husband.

In an interview with iNews, he reflected, "I won Big Brother, I then got asked to host Big Brother's Bit On The Side.

Rylan split from his husband in 2021 ( Image: ITV This Morning) -Credit:ITV This Morning
Rylan split from his husband in 2021 ( Image: ITV This Morning) -Credit:ITV This Morning

It gave me a career. It then gave me my husband and gave me the life I have now.

Without Big Brother, I don't think any of this would have happened. It was the best apprenticeship I could have asked for."

Their romance blossomed, leading to Dan's spontaneous proposal during a trip to Paris.

Rylan's reaction to the proposal was a mix of surprise and excitement, as he recalled in his 2016 book, The Life of Rylan.

He remembered responding with "F**K OFF, C**T, C**T, YOU'RE A C**T ", before playfully hitting his betrothed on the arm.

He added, "Seriously this is exactly as it happened. He didn't know what to say and neither did I. I was just in so much shock... [He thought] 'Am I on Ant and Dec? Is this a wind-up?"

The couple exchanged vows in a star-studded ceremony in 2015, with guests including Amy Childs, Katie Price, and Eamonn Holmes.

Their life together appeared idyllic, with Rylan relishing his role as stepdad to Dan's son Cameron.

They even made history as the first gay couple to host This Morning.

In June 2021, Rylan Clark confirmed the end of his marriage to Dan Neal in an interview with The Sun.

He acknowledged his own faults, saying: "Following reports about Dan and I spending time apart, I feel I have to speak out - as the way it is being reported is unfair."

"I have made a number of mistakes which I deeply regret and have inevitably led to the breakdown of our marriage. I have taken time away from work as I am not in a good place at the moment and am seeking help."

Infidelity regrets

Rylan has admitted that his infidelity was the reason for their split.

He revealed in his 2022 memoir, 'Ten: The Decade That Changed My Future', that he had been unfaithful years before and decided to confess in May 2021, not anticipating that Dan would leave him.

Rylan wrote: "I have no excuses for what I did way back then, but I had my reasons. I think for many years I had felt a bit like an imposter. That nothing I was doing was right or not quite good enough."

After confessing his infidelity to Dan, Rylan was stunned by his response -Credit:WireImage
After confessing his infidelity to Dan, Rylan was stunned by his response -Credit:WireImage

"There were times when people told me this, and so confirmed my own self-doubts. And you know, when it's those closest to you giving you this feedback, of course you take it to heart."

He expressed his disbelief at Dan's decision to leave, adding: "He left. Told me it was over and that was that. You're not surprised? I get that. But I couldn't believe it."

During a candid conversation on Kathy Burke's "Where There's A Will There's A Wake" podcast in March, Rylan Clark opened up about his past marriage, expressing no regrets about the union itself but admitting he should have considered a prenup.

He reflected: "I don't regret getting married. I mean I regret not having a f***ing prenup. That's the only thing I regret. But even though everyone was like get a prenup, I was like I'm in love. Silly pr**k."

Mental health issues and heart failure

The end of his marriage took a significant toll on Rylan's mental health, leading to a four-month break from his career.

On an episode of Matt Willis's "On The Mend" podcast in August 2023, Rylan revealed the extent of his struggles, including two suicide attempts post-divorce.

Rylan described how he felt completely lost during that time, saying: "I can't remember what made me disappear basically from the person I knew. But the next thing I knew I could not see, hear, eat, breathe, sleep I couldn't do anything."

The divorce had a catastrophic effect on Rylan's mental health ( Image: Getty Images) -Credit:Getty Images
The divorce had a catastrophic effect on Rylan's mental health ( Image: Getty Images) -Credit:Getty Images

He also spoke about the suddenness of his breakdown, comparing it to an unexpected blow: "And yeah, there was no signs of me having a breakdown, there was no signs of like if you're having a heart attack, you'll get the pains in your arm, you'll get this... you know something's about to happen even if it's seconds before. I didn't have the seconds, I just had the impact basically. The baseball bat round the face I call it. And yeah, I got very ill."

During a troubling period, presenter Rylan Clark faced severe health issues, including being dangerously underweight and suffering two heart failures.

Speaking at the 'An Evening With Rylan Clark' event at London's Royal Festival Hall in September 2022, as reported by Metro, he shared his harrowing experiences.

Rylan recounted: "It was like my body had shut down. Twice last year I ended up back in an ambulance because my heart had failed and it was really strange because I just remember for a couple of weeks going, 'My heart hurts'."

The TV personality, known for his stint on 'The X Factor', was alarmed to discover his resting heart rate had soared to 248 beats per minute, far exceeding the average adult's 60-100 beats per minute range.

He added: "My heart had to be restarted. I just remember lying in re-sus[citation], because I had these pads on with all these wires and not understanding what it was."

In a candid conversation with journalist Elizabeth Day on her 'How To Fail' podcast in May 2023, Rylan reflected on how his 'extremely traumatic' divorce nearly cost him his life but ultimately contributed to his personal growth.

He expressed his resolve, saying: "When you know you have been rock bottom, like to the point of no return nearly, that's when you sit there and go, 'I will never let anything or anyone get me to where I was in that state. Not even myself, I will never let that happen to myself again [...]".

"I'd like to sit here and think that the breakdown of my marriage has made me the person I am now, and I'm really, really, happy, with the person I am now, and I can sleep very well at night."

Dating scene

Rylan Clark-Neal recently disclosed that he's back in the dating game after enduring years of heartbreak.

He shared this during a chat with his close friend Rob Rinder on their new BBC series, Rob and Rylan's Grand Tour.

The programme follows the pair - both newly divorced - as they follow in the footsteps of the Grand Tourists of yesteryears.

The Grand Tour, or the original gap year, was a rite of passage for young noblemen in the 18th century.

Rob and Rylan are heading out on a grand tour in their new travel show
Rob and Rylan are heading out on a grand tour in their new travel show -Credit:BBC/Rex TV/Zinc Media/Lana Salah

It involved travelling around Europe to immerse themselves in culture, architecture, and experiences - essentially, finding themselves.

In essence, it's the perfect journey for two divorcees looking forward to their next chapter.

Their escapades soon took a romantic twist, with both Rylan and Rob embarking on exciting blind dates arranged for them.

Rylan expressed: "Hopefully my luck with men is about to change. I always thought when you were younger 'imagine if you were known, you would be able to get anyone you want'. It's the complete opposite. I've had two dates in the last two years."

"One of them was really, really great and was going well. And then my job was just too much for his life. And then the other one was so interested in my job, he decided to call the press. So they're the two opposite ends of the spectrum. I need somebody in the middle that can deal with it, but don't want it."

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