Rylan Clark-Neal has given us a bit of an insight into the new series…
Are you excited for the new series, yet?
I’m so excited for the brand new series, more so than I ever have been before. It’s like starting a whole new job this year. Without giving it away, we’ve got a whole new concept and I’m really excited to see how it works with the Housemates. It’s time for a shake-up, and it’s a shakeup that they won’t see coming.
It’s almost a brand new game.
Can you tell us a little about the theme? What effect will it have on the Housemates?
The House is predominantly black and white, but as we know, nothing on Big Brother is ever black and white, and I think that’s going to be the real theme throughout the series. I’ve seen the drawings and I’ve spoken to the designers and the House is looking amazing. It’s probably going to be one of my favourite ever series, in terms of how it looks.
Do you think the balance has been right recently between conflict, romance, and fun – and if not, which do you hope will be triumphant this time?
You can never predict it because you put housemates in, and a week later they’re all behaving totally differently, depending on who else they’re in there with. So who knows? But what I can say is this is the most exciting line-up since I joined the show. This is one of the only non-scripted reality shows out there, so nobody knows what’s going to happen. That’s what makes it so exciting – and nerve wracking – to work on.
So many incredible moments have happened on Big Brother over the years, is there anything that HASN’T happened on Big Brother yet that you’d like to see?
The show is constantly surprising. This series, when I say this is like starting a brand new job, I genuinely mean it. It’s like the first day at school. I want people to know that the game is changing this year. I love the show. I’m a fan more than a presenter.
Do you have any input into tasks?
We have some input into the show, just the same as everybody who works on it does. We all get our say. I think it’s good that we have a bit of a say because we’re the ones up there, and we want to be happy with the way it’s playing out on screen. It’s genuinely a real team effort and everybody cares so much. Ultimately, we can’t control what happens in the House, but we can chuck in some twists and some tasks. Tasks are so important, and I know the task team has been working hard all year, so we’re prepared for the summer.
What kind of tasks would you like to see?
I’d like to see it a bit more like Hunger Games! Big and brutal, where people can be voyeurs and watch it all going on.
And what do you think about nominations; do you think there’s been the right balance between Diary Room and face to face nominations recently?
I love Diary Room nominations. That’s the core concept of Big Brother, let’s face it. And it changes as you go along, depending on what’s happening between the Housemates. I know there are a lot of changes this year! I’d say that in civilian Big Brother, face to face nominations works quite well because people get put on the spot and they’ve not got the option to back out. We’re not taking any s**t from the Housemates. It’s Big Brother’s way or the highway.
How did you feel when you heard about David Gest’s death?
He was such a lovely man, I was so devastated. He was everything we wanted, and more. He was one of the nicest men to have met, and I’m delighted to have had the honour to do that. He’s going to be missed so much by so many people, and we will definitely miss him on the show, one million per cent.
What do you think about the circumstances of his death, given what happened with Angie Bowie on the show?
David was the sort of man who would have found a lot of humour in it. He was on the ‘David Gest Is Not Dead’ tour, and then he went and bloody died. What a way to go! And I wouldn’t have expected any less from him, to be honest. He was an absolute joker, and that’s what he did right to the end. You couldn’t have made up what happened, and people are going to remember it, forever. And I think that’s what he would have wanted.
Do you miss Emma when you don’t see her?
I do. But we don’t see each other for a few months and we’re just like, ‘Alright, chicken?’, and we’re just straight into gossiping. We’re committed to each other for six months a year, she’s like my part-time wife.
Has she been watching Up Late With Rylan while doing the night feed?
I’d like to think so, but those breast pumps do take a lot of concentration!
You recently reached the final of Celebrity MasterChef. If you had to appear in another reality show, which would you choose?
Eurovision! I couldn’t do another reality show, because I’ve done it. But for the pure love of it, I would do Eurovision. I don’t think I’d do any better than anyone else who’s done it, but I’d bring a bit of Rylan sparkle to the proceedings and I’d have a bloody good laugh doing it too.