Belfast Telegraph

Rylan Clark-Neal defends political Twitter posts after ‘snobby’ comments

The Strictly: It Takes Two host and former X Factor star said he is ‘probably informing the people who follow me’ more than his detractors are.

Rylan Clark-Neal defends his political Twitter posts after ‘snobby’ comments (Ian West/PA)
Rylan Clark-Neal defends his political Twitter posts after ‘snobby’ comments (Ian West/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor

Rylan Clark-Neal has defended himself against critics who say he should not talk about politics on Twitter, saying that he is informing his followers who “might not necessarily understand Brexit”.

The TV presenter said that he received “a few snobby-arsed comments from a few snobby-arsed people who were like, what the f*** do you know?” after he tweeted about the latest political goings-on earlier this year.

Clark-Neal said he feels “no pressure to fit in a box others want to put (him) in”, telling The Big Issue magazine: “Politics is something I’ve been interested in for a long time.

With all due respect, the audience that I’ve got might not necessarily understand Brexit or what’s going on in Parliament Rylan Clark-Neal

“More now than ever because of Brexit.”

The Strictly: It Takes Two presenter, who will co-host Channel 4’s Alternative Election Night show, said that, after putting a tweet out earlier this year “that went a little bit viral” on the subject of Brexit, he received negative comments.

The former X Factor star said: “I decided to call them out on it thinking actually, you’re a f***ing idiot, because I was a 30-year-old man who’s not in politics and I’m the sort of person you should be tapping into.

“With all due respect, the audience that I’ve got might not necessarily understand Brexit or what’s going on in Parliament.”

Clark-Neal added: “When I explain stuff on Twitter in layman’s terms people message me and go ‘Thanks for doing that, I didn’t really understand what WTO meant or what the Northern Irish backstop involved’.

“You can take the piss out of me all you want, but I’m probably informing the people who follow me more than you’re informing people.”

However, the presenter said he will stay silent on who he is backing in the forthcoming General Election.

He said: “It means I can talk to people in a rounded way that probably does more good than it would if I told people how to vote.

“People need to make up their own minds. I’m more than happy to stick up for what I think is right but I’m not going to sit there and tell people what to do. I don’t think that’s my platform.

“I use it to make sure everyone is as informed as they possibly can be without necessarily having to take extra time out of their busy lives to dive into the nitty gritty of it.”

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Rylan Clark-Neal (The Big Issue)

Last week, Clark-Neal announced his part in Channel 4’s election coverage on Twitter, joking: “So yeah…. This X factor reject will be hosting election night. Lols.”

He will join Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Katherine Ryan in the live broadcast after the public cast their votes in the General Election on December 12.

Clare Balding, Matt Forde and Rob Rinder will also appear in the eight-hour programme.

The Big Issue, sold by vendors to lift themselves out of poverty, is out now.

PA

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