How Rylangate has destroyed Big Brother

DAY 19 Posted on January 21 2013 at 06:00pm by Matt Scott
How Rylangate has destroyed Big Brother

As Celebrity Big Brother 2013 fans react to the news that Rylan Clark has been leaving the house regularly for X Factor tour rehearsals, we explain why it’s another nail in the show’s coffin.

Oh dear. Who knew that it would be Kathy Beale that sparked the signature furore of this series of Big Brother?

This morning the lovely Gillian Taylforth unwittingly ignited the one of the biggest controversies in the show’s history by revealing that Rylan Clark has been regularly let out of the most famous house in Britain so he could honour his commitments to the talent contest.

Speaking on Channel 5′s long-running morning talkshow The Wright Stuff, she told of how he asked his ‘driver’ the time and relayed that information to the group, and later informed their ‘Mic Man’ Eric Johnson that the Essex lad routinely left every Sunday.

Just hours later, a spokesperson confirmed the news, but insisted that he hadn’t left the Elstree Studios site in Hertfordshire, and that he’d been accompanied by a member of staff.

Since Big Brother moved to Channel 5, it’s just about held up against the numerous criticisms that have emerged – the lack of live feed, the alleged nominations tampering, and the fact that Conor McIntyre was able to leave last year’s normal series £50,000 richer despite his threats of physical and sexual abuse towards Deana Uppal.

But now, any shred of credibility left in the Big Brother format in the UK has been destroyed, and here we explain the three main reasons why.

The ‘no contact with the outside world’ rule is now null and void

The single most crucial point of the Big Brother format – even more so than live feed – is that housemates are isolated in the house and filmed 24 hours a day, with no ways of contacting the outside world.

This should be sacrosanct. Not even the catch-all excuse ‘Big Brother reserves the right to change the rules at any time’ can justify changes to it.

Nonetheless, they’re rules that have been stretched to breaking point over the years. Housemates have left for tasks, housemates have left to do the shopping. The house has even been opened up for a celebrity red carpet film premiere.

But at least those instances had always been on Big Brother’s terms. Until now, trips out the house have never been dictated by a housemate, contractual obligations or not. And no, this isn’t just because it’s Rylan – anyone could be in his shoes and it’d still be a problem.

Now that this line has been crossed, Big Brother is no longer Big Brother. If contestants are going to be allowed out to work, why lock them up at all?

Z-list celebrities are now regarded as bigger than the show

Over the years, producers have made a number of concessions to get celebrities in the house – to name two, private bedrooms and the ability for pairs to be counted as one housemate.

Otherwise, even the biggest names – Vinnie Jones, Verne Troyer, Jermaine and La Toya Jackson – have had to take part in accordance with Big Brother’s rule book.

But never before has one of these concessions compromised the Big Brother format. And this is for X Factor reject Rylan Clark – who doesn’t even regard himself as a celebrity.

Was he really that essential to the success of this series that producers had to get him in at any cost? We’d be willing to wager that there are other stars out there just as entertaining as Rylan whose presence in the house would not have made a mockery of the show.

This sets a worrying precedent for the future – if some bloke off a talent show who’ll most likely be forgotten in five months time can secure such a significant privilege, what will the next batch of nobodies be able to get away with?

We can’t trust the producers at all any more

By far the worst thing about this debacle is that producers have covered it all up. Viewers have been spending their hard-earned money voting to save Rylan while under the misleading impression that he’s been living in the house 24 hours a day.

If chiefs had been honest and even just briefly mentioned Rylan’s absences on the programme, any defence they mounted would have been a little more credible. But the fact that they haven’t come clean until today leaves them without a leg to stand on.

This isn’t a housemate leaving for medical treatment or to learn of the sad death of a loved one. This is the most significant breach of the Big Brother format to date.

Spin-off show Bit On The Side has promised to address the issue tonight in what will no doubt be an attempt to gloss it over before they pretend it never happened. But faith in Big Brother is at an all time low and it’s going to take a major shift in attitude among the top brass to restore it.

> Click here to read a selection of viewer responses to Rylangate

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55 comments on this article

  1. BBMike says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Producers are still lieing with there press release this morning, chris maloney on the 14th of january stated rylan was with him, on closer inspection this meeting was away from the big brother compound and an hour away from elstree studio’s Lies Lies And Big Cover Ups by Channel 5 and endemol Its A Fucking Disgrace!

  2. Zac says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    How are they going to earn our trust back?

    24 hour live streaming again. It’s the only way we can see if housemates are being taken out the house. Channel 5 are in serious trouble with their fans right now.

  3. Brekkie says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Well written – sums it up nicely.

    They’re really taken viewers for granted once again and I suspect once again viewers will vote with their remote – the show lost a third of it’s audience when C4 axed the live feed, with only half returning when it was reinstated only to disappear and take even more with them when C5 axed it.

  4. Brekkie says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    … and again that trust with viewers has been broken, and many fans won’t give them yet another chance.

  5. Zack S. says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    For starters during their Final Series on Channel 4 they did the ignore the obvious task and let strangers in the house. That’s what started it. And the rest is history. Big Brother can change the rules at anytime. I mean in Big Brother USA Series 14 they let two housemates out the house to attend a event. So now I think the outside world rule in Big Brother Around the Rule is out of the picture no question. END OF STORY.

  6. @Lewis815 says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    @Zack S.
    At least the Ignore the Obvious task was fully filmed and shown to us on a 24/7 live feed so that viewers could see that no member of the public was telling that housemate anything about the outside world.

  7. @Lewis815 says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Fantastic article – Nail on the head with any fan of Big Brother – And if you are a producer of the show reading this, understand that the majority of people, including general viewers and not just fans, are sick to death of things like this.

  8. Sam2 says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Well said Matt. Good article.

  9. Jordan says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    It is not the fact Rylan left, its the fact the producers never mentioned it on the highlights show or in a press release. the only way they can bounce back from this is to ditch the gimmicks and go back to following the rules which makes Big Brother DIFFERENT AND INTERESTING!

  10. Flutterbye says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Well would you “adam and eve” it…..I have always thought that this show was a complete con which is why I would NEVER vote and waste my money.
    I so hope that vile creature Rylan does not win, what a potty mouth he has, if I was his mother I would wash his mouth out with soap.
    And talk about vain is me me me I I I all the time.
    Can’t stand him.

  11. Flutterbye says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    :down: :envy: forgot this

  12. Dan says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Storm in a teacup. It’s a shame that BB Spy wants to fuel that storm, but I get the feeling this website has never been keen on the show since it turned up on C5 anyway, always picking fault with it when the opportunity presented itself. But for me, the control element has never been an important element of Celebrity Big Brother which is just 3 weeks of pure fun. It’s completely different to Big Brother where the control aspect is much more important. I just want to be entertained by CBB and even this series, despite a number of duff castings, is managing that. C5 set out their stall on day 1 by saying the focus would be purely on the entertainment and that’s exactly what they have done. Viewers that don’t like it have had 2 years to switch off. But instead they choose to watch, seemingly only so they can complain about it. Utterly bizarre, but the show must go on, and with ratings up on last year, that it will ! :)

  13. @lewis815 says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Ratings are majorly down from Channel 4′s shows including the later years, ratings that in my opinion could be a lot higher if they didn’t treat the viewer with such contempt. If Channel 5 wanted a show that wasn’t Big Brother then they shouldn’t have purchased the format.

  14. Dan says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Any show that moves to a channel that is lower down on the EPG loses viewers. It’s happened every single time this is happened. C4 has higher reach so if you moved the show back there overnight, the ratings would rise instantly, even if you didn’t change anything! Believe me, C5 will be cockahoop that 2.9m watched last Sunday’s show in the consolidated figures. That is a cracking audience, and this series is increasing its lead over last January’s series all the time, even with a weaker cast. It’s still very much Big Brother with their own spin on it, but personally I think it’s naive of anyone to expect the original rules to be observed all of the time. They haven’t been since about the year 2003.

  15. Scott says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !


    Ratings were always going to be much lower. Channel 5 have a much lower audience share than C4.

  16. @Lewis says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    To the above two – These days there isn’t anybody who has Channel 4 that doesn’t have Channel 5 – Therefore there is no reason the show should have such a massive dip in viewers along with the extensive advertising that they have done for the show. Two million or so people don’t just switch off because they have to press the number 5 instead of 4. Plus many of Channel 5 and 4′s daily ratings are actually quite similar these days. But that’s just my opinion.

  17. Sam2 says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    I wouldn’t take it to heart. One of them sounds suspiciously like a poster who’s been suspected numerous times of being a C5 shill on another site.

  18. Dan says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    With respect, it doesn’t work like that. It’s not as simple as saying everyone that gets C4 can get C5 now and so the viewing figures should be on a par. They are different channels with different audience expectations, and CBB is currently smashing what is expected of C5. The gap between them might be closer than what it was, but a lot of that is down to the fact that C4 has regressed instead of progressed since BB left the channel, so it’s safe to assume if it was on there still it would be getting lower figures than it was as well. Also that the trend in the ratings is currently an upward trajectory, rather than downwards, making the current “scandal” look even more absurd, although we wait with baited breath to see if it has any effect going forwards. I suspect it won’t. P.S. not a “C5 shill”, but a mere passionate observer. All the best.

  19. open-the-bifrost says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Let’s address BBMIKE’s post about Maloney. This is a superb point, why would Rylan need a driver to visit an on site studio? Clearly the spotty oik producers are lying. Secondly what I’ve found since its moved to ch5 is that people from behing the scenes want to be stars. You have the long haired Ian & some other guy doing a regular sketch. You have a girl who tells us about future tasks. You have a producer who gets thrown off the Saturday/Sunday bbbots. They seem to think they are the stars and do anything to get on camera. The ch 5 production team were humiliated by Spencer and Heidi off screen hence the personal vendetta against them. They seem to set them up with the nastiest task or lumber them with stipulations know speidi won’t touch. If Rylan isn’t kicked out immediately for breaking the rules then we know producers have free x-factor tickets and want Rylan to win. In closing ch5 have finally killed brand big brother.

  20. @Lewis815 says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    I complately agree that this news will have absolutely no impact on the ratings, at least in the short term or this series anyway. I think boycotts and snap reactions are pointless. But viewers do grow tired of feeling lied to or not watching something that tries to come across but real but isn’t. Just look at the X Factor ratings. The public are tired of being treated as morons.

  21. @Lewis815 says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !


  22. @emmetmclaughlin says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    And that folks, is the real reason live feed isn’t used on Channel 5.

  23. @Lewis815 says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Rylan shouldn’t be kicked off the show, that’s very counter-productive especially this close to the end – But the producers need to understand the public don’t want to be lied to.
    You can’t blame Rylan for anything, especially because this would have been an agreement between his management and the producers of Big Brother rather than something Rylan would have wanted.

  24. Yawn says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Americans have left the house prior to BB14.

  25. open the bifrost says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    I Meant to say they lumber them with stipulations they know speidi won’t touch.

  26. open-the-bifrost says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    The arrogant oils are indeed still lying. Gillian taylforth said he has a driver. Lol, to get to an on site building. They are full of shite & treating the people who vote with contempt.

  27. Oathy says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    Loads of us were told move on Loads did.I Still hoped Channel 5 would see sense.Look at the mistakes Channel 4 did and realise the core elements of the show were worth saving.Sadly it just went worse its a great shame for those fans really upset by this today.
    Also a great shame for Rylan who will take the brunt of this when its Endemol yet again thinking they can do what they like with a much loved format.

    the name Is Bigbrother theres an Eviction/Tasks/DR and thats about it.Endemol needs to ask itself why the concept changes so badly to pretty mixed results yet other formats that remained true to the format carry on with strong viewerships and fanbases.

    I really wish the show I loved for a Decade comes back the way it was because this farce is just a mockery to the legacy of The Original Reality TV show

  28. Frankie says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    People CALM DOWN its a tv show, he signed a contract and C5 knew about his commitments, SO, are you gonna vote rylan out just because he left the house a few times… he left twice so?

  29. Etasham Hussain says:
    Mon 21 Jan | Reply !

    @Frankie. The point is if he’s so damn busy then he shouldn’t have been able to sign up to do BB… and even more so, C5 have kept such vital info from us! This goes to question what else they’re hiding as WE only 1 hour of each day and so have no idea what goes on in that house..

    Completely ruins the credibility of the show. Bad move C5. Bad move.

  30. Courtney says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    Living in Australia; I didn’t have a big opinion on the live feed situation for the British version- but even I find it upsetting that Channel 5 refuse such a service and, at the same time, mess with what I consider the MOST fundamental rule of Big Brother- no contact with the outside world. That’s what Big Brother is! Not just the show; but the concept as first conceived in George Orwell’s ’1984′- the fact an unseen force controls all information with zero outside influence or contact.

    And what’s worse, it just seems as if Channel 5 is taking advantage of the lack of live feed to get away with such humiliating actions.

    It’s equivalent to letting an I’m A Celebrity… contestant leave the jungle for a few hours once every few days to take advantage of a luxury hotel.

  31. Macduff says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    The fact that you should have no contact with the outside world, leading to the pressure cooker environment which then leads to rows/ meltdowns etc, IS what BB is about as a show. Rylan, has been allowed to escape from the tension or boredom, therefore viewers cannot have a true picture of how he would cope. It is a fraud to have people vote for how he is coping with isolation from the rest of the world.

  32. Minxy Cat says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    I run a page on Facebook for cbb fans and took the liberty to write out 100% word for word their explanation for what has been going on. msg me if you would like a copy.

    There are many discrepancies within the “statement” one being a log about why Rylan features so much in the show. They placed Lacey with Sam having a conversation, then in the same log had her placed again with Tricia and Gillian watching Razor snore… also they claimed the other hm’s were boring and therefore have not shown equal footage of each HM because of how tedious they thought they were. I saw Gillian on the Wright Stuff and unless she underwent a personality transplant upon entering/leaving the house there is something amiss, she was funny, animated and fun-loving! I said from day one that the show was centred round Rylan. He has been centre of everything and Speidi instigators and the rest cast mates. Last nights show I suspect was staged to make Rylan look like a hero whilst making the others look like nobodies and in the case of Speidi “villans”. It is a panto now.

  33. Mark Hume says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    Get a grip you people need to stop moaning and get a life

  34. Mark Hume says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    Do you not think the show wanted him so bad and as long as he is not getting any info and a producer was there what are you all moaning about,its not as if he went for a curry and a pint.The main thing i hate about Big bro is the so called super fans sad bunch the lot of you,oh my what will you do with yourselves when it ends again.

  35. sandy says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    You are so right lasts nite show was great veiwing but you knew Rylan was going to try be the hero,really feel so sorry for all the other celebs in there they are like wet fish all because bb wants to give H/S and Rylan all the airtime. :shock:

  36. Towela Judith says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    :heart: team Spiedi
    They are being ganged up on and bullied. Outnumbered and extremely making it uncomfortable for them. Big brother is giving them nasty tasks to give us great viewing when they respond as we all know they will, they brand them bad. They had to watch all the nasty words said to them for 48 hrs but now roles reverse they are the heartless ones. They don’t owe them anything. They are playing as asked but don’t want to accept the mature of the game. They are not putting themselves in these situation the producers are.they hv given us great tv and most pipo think its one of the best to watch. Spiedi to win. I don’t care what everyone says. It’s not a game of do good era like Gillian, that’s why they are out. They are Brilliant

  37. Sam2 says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    Another discrepancy, Jamie said Rylan went 50 feet away. Really? Why would Rylan need a driver if it’s only 50 feet away? Hell Davina used to walk from the George Lucas stage to the house every eviction, hence the origin of the phrase “I’m coming to get yooooouuuuuu!!” Sounded to me like they were talking rubbish (not that I blame Jamie & Emma, as they just do as they’re told).

  38. cherry says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    :doh: @Sam2
    If Rylan was in a golf buggy as Emma said.there would of been less chance for Rylan to comunicate with anyone on the out side.These buggies can go into the studios. no need to get wet cold.But thats not the point. BB could have let Rylan practice in the task room or gym why let him go into another buildin?

  39. sandy says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    I agree i felt that H/S got it a bit bad last nite. At the end of the day bb new they would never seperate from each other look at the stupit we tasks the rest got, Ok they could have been a bit more thoughful for Clare;s feelings by the way look at Nicloa Mc Clean just the same thing TEAM SPEIDI :heart: :heart: :heart: `

  40. sandy says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    By the way the prattes are real prattes :envy: but great to watch best cbb ever because of H/S :up: :grin:

  41. cherry says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    Rylangate has distroyed Big brother. Dont make me laugh.
    On second thoughts do make me laugh its more than the show is doing. :grin:
    Mr and Mrs Pratt make me want to :cry: such horrible indeviduals.

  42. Tabby says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    Totally agree with Matt. Everything he has written is spot on. We’ve been duped by the producers. We thought they were in there having a hard time; being set up and manipulated to show us their true characters, not out there practising for their next pay cheque!!

  43. terry says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    :grin: all the muppets voting for rylan..pmsl..go on you sad t%^w..

  44. Terry Gormley says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    well said there are people out here with sence..

  45. Dr Bob says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    CBB is faker than Speidi’s ‘The Hills”. :down:

    Won’t be watching next celebrity season, that’s for sure.

    I don’t understand why C5 has such trouble making BB a fun and entertaining show. PLEASE look at the Scandinavian versions, they are low-budget and very very fun!

  46. bbmtom says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    I am a huge Big Brother fan and have always watched and feel that the producers have let fans down. The whole point of the show is that the contestants have no contact with the outside world and it makes me think if the producers didn’t tell us about Rylan leaving for rehearsals what else do they keep from us? I don’t agree with Rylan leaving the house but at the very least, the producers could have admitted this so fans are informed. Obviously producers where prepared to go to whatever lengths necessary to get Rylan in the house this year and try and attract viewers.

  47. Hughie says:
    Tue 22 Jan | Reply !

    As a fan since August 2000 The first series, nothing will kill It until its not on TV. This Programme rules, cheers

  48. Chelle says:
    Wed 23 Jan | Reply !

    @Zack S.

    BBUS has allowed people out of the house before season 14. Some competitions have prizes that include attending events, going on game shows, etc. They never try to hide it.

  49. TempestWylde says:
    Wed 23 Jan | Reply !

    Is it really that bad?

    BB has always manipulated and twisted each series…
    The old “Big Brother holds the rights to change the rules at any time” theory always applies.

    As the dreaded Speidi would say “Its just a game”

  50. Sam2 says:
    Wed 23 Jan | Reply !

    Yes, it’s pretty bad. It’s probably the biggest screw up since they axed live feed and it makes a mockery of the whole show. It’s ‘Big Brother’, not ‘The Only Way is Essex’.

    The rule “Big Brother holds the rights to change the rules at any time” holds no water with viewers, especially when phone voting is involved.

    Football is ‘just a game’ too, but can you imagine the uproar if the referee decided to change the rules to favour one player or one team.

  51. janice heggie says:
    Wed 23 Jan | Reply !

    he had contact with paula as well she told him he was doing great and they liked what he was doing after he asked her

  52. TempestWylde says:
    Thu 24 Jan | Reply !


    Meh. I just don’t get invested in the Celebrity version except character wise…

    I think Rylan was pretty much the favourite from day one so IMO his leaving the house didn’t really have much of an impact in the short bursts that he did.

    It has to be realised that all *reality* shows are manipulated by the producers and editors. They place people in certain tasks for certain reasons so people see the character that they expect. They desperately wanted a character who was incredibly “current” in his popularity and were willing to stretch the rules to accommodate him.

  53. TempestWylde says:
    Thu 24 Jan | Reply !


  54. Christina Chance says:
    Thu 24 Jan | Reply !


    We don’t know how Rylan leaving the house effects the other HMS. What he is seeing or doing while out. If they can accommodate him, why not let Claire or others see their kids or phone calls. We would never have to know. As we wouldn’t have known if Gillian hadn’t let it slip!! I am sure his leaving the house and coming back after singing and dancing. His spirits would be very high. Possibly smoking decent cigarettes and eating his favourite food or snacks while he is out.

  55. andrew says:
    Fri 25 Jan | Reply !

    Big deal if rylan has been let out the house for a few rehearsals. What’s all the fuss about – get a life ! The show would have been rubbish if rylan or spidey wasn’t in the show as all the other celebs that were in it was lifeless. Rather than going on and on about rylan being out for a few hours to do rehearsals maybe we should be consider the terrible presenting style of brian downling and his annoying mannerisms and persona. He spoils the live eviction shows and is a terrible presenter. End of.

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