ylan Clark-Neal played up to "the gay stereotype" on "The X Factor".
The 30-year-old star - who rose to fame on the ninth series of the ITV talent show in 2012 - "played a character" on the programme, because he felt he had to fit a certain image to make sure he was a hit with the public.
Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, he said: "I played a character when I was on there. I knew I had to be the gay stereotype that was on the front of the papers every day. And I did my job well. I played the game."
After completing the "X Factor" tour, Rylan - who married former "Big Brother" housemate Dan Neal in 2015 - thought his time in the spotlight was "over", and he struggled to get to grips with the possibility.
He explained: "The second you walk out, you are on your own. I was very lucky. After the "X Factor" tour, I went back home ... it was the first time I'd been in a room on my own for eight months, without anyone watching me.
"I remember waking up at 4am and thinking, "It's over." If the phone hadn't rung with the "Big Brother" job a few weeks later, I don't know what I'd have done."
The broadcaster - who won "Celebrity Big Brother" in 2013 and went onto host spin-off show "Big Brother's Bit on the Side" - has also been the target of abuse from vile online trolls.
He added: "Every day on my Twitter feed I'll get, "You're gay, you're a ****, people like you should be killed because you're gay." Will things ever change?"