Rylan Clark-Neal

Newlywed Rylan Clark-Neal, as he’s now known since his marriage to Dan Neal, is characteristically hyperactive as we chat about the start of the new series of Celebrity Big Brother and its spin-off Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, which he presents. ‘I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the January series of CBB,’

Rylan, 27, tells us. ‘It’s the one I did and it always falls at the right time, a little pick-me-up after the downer of Christmas and New Year being over.’

Though the names of the housemates are top secret, Rylan does let slip that his old friend, former TOWIE star Gemma Collins – who’s rumoured to be in the line-up – would be brilliant. ‘I’d love to see the GC in there. She’s controversial and likes an argument. She’d go in head first and would hopefully last longer than she did in the [I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!] jungle.

We’ll just give her a ham sandwich and she’ll be happy,’ he laughs.

He’s also overjoyed that Big Brother and CBB host Emma Willis is pregnant with her third child, and assures us that she’ll still be fronting both series: ‘She’s a working mum, she’s a cool mum. She said she’s going to be a bit of a fatty in January, her words not mine, so I’m going to get her a little stairlift on BOTS!’

But the show isn’t the only thing on Essex native Rylan’s agenda. Fresh from his Maldives honeymoon and still glowing from his ‘perfect’ star-studded wedding day on November 7, he’s also bagged himself a cameo in the forthcoming Absolutely Fabulous movie! ‘It’s the film everyone wants to be in – I’m so lucky,’ he beams. ‘I wouldn’t have cared if I was an extra in the background or cleaning the toilets on set!’ As he gears up for his first Christmas married to Dan, 36 – who he met when the former policeman appeared on Big Brother in 2013 – Rylan opens up about last summer’s controversial series of CBB, the celebrity guests who couldn’t make his big day, and his dreams of becoming a dad…

How do you feel about the start of CBB?

These series are like buses, aren’t they? One finishes and along comes another! I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the January series of CBB, though, as it’s the one I appeared in and it always falls at the right time, a little pick-me-up after the downer of Christmas and New Year being over.

The theme of the previous series was US vs UK will this series have a theme?

It’s going to be Vaudeville – very theatrical, very showy, the housemates are going to have to perform if they want to win. We want to get our money’s worth out of them!

How about the house itself?

It’s very OTT, very luxurious. And there’s a pub in the garden! We’ll ‘Peggy Mitchell’ that place up!

The last series was quite controversial.

Yes, but it was also one of the best series we’ve ever had. Remember, Big Brother is the only reality TV show that isn’t structured or scripted. There’s nothing you can do about the way it pans out. It’s still a social experiment, just as it was 16 years ago.

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