Rylan Clark-Neal has responded to claims that he “mocked” Lewis Flanagan’s anxiety issues on Big Brother‘s Bit on the Side, saying that he does show support.
One Lewis fan had complained to Rylan on social media after watching an episode of Bit on the Side, writing: “1 in 6 ppl will suffer today.
“Anxiety, depression, paranoia, the list goes on… It’s been hard to see Lewis be mocked about his [mental health] in @bbuk @Rylan, yet would you mock someone with a physical disability?”
Another tagged Rylan in their tweet and said: “Presenters should show support.”
Rylan addressed the criticism and said that anxiety issues are “quite close to [his] heart”, adding that there are some things about his personal life that he keeps private.
“I do show support,” he replied to the latter tweet. “I understand everyone has an opinion.
“Maybe if you listened to what I said last night rather than keep tweeting me, you would see that I brought up the fact he has anxiety issues. Something that’s actually quite close to my heart.”
In a separate post, he added: “I think people forget that I’m not just the host of a show. I actually have a real life, and in that life, maybe I’m very affected by some of the situations that are discussed on it.
“Just because I don’t talk about my personal life doesn’t mean I’m not closely affected by things.”
Lewis had shared in the Diary Room during a recent episode of Big Brother: “I’m shattered. I’m obviously mentally and physically drained, and now I won’t get the rest I needed because everyone wanted to play up for the cameras and play f**king bogies.
“They’re behaving like children, it’s f**king pathetic.”
Big Brother airs every night except Saturdays on Channel 5.
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk).
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