I sat my mum down & told her to lock me up – I'll never forget Eamonn's reaction when he saw me at my lowest, says Rylan | The Sun

TV STAR Rylan has revealed that his marriage ended after he admitted cheating years ago – and the fallout was so bad he tried to kill himself.

The 33-year-old, who took five months off work last year as he battled depression, told an audience at London’s Royal Festival Hall this week that he got so ill he suffered heart failure twice.

Now, in exclusive extracts from his new book Ten: The Decade That Changed My Future, he reveals the full details of the darkest time of his life. 

Genuinely, I don’t know what made me do it, but in March 2021, three days before I was due to commentate on the first Eurovision semi-final, I woke up one morning and decided to tell my now ex that I had cheated on him, years ago.

It wasn’t that there was a threat of it coming out in the press or that I was worried that he might find out. Something just hit me. Deep, delayed guilt, I suppose, about what I had stupidly done.

I have no excuses for what I did way back then, but I had my reasons. The reality is that over the course of my relationship I had started to feel wrong: I felt I was wrong for being successful, wrong for being me. Everyone around me could see things weren’t quite right.


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But after I dropped this bombshell, he left. Told me it was over and that was that. For some stupid reason I thought he would understand what had happened. Maybe see it as a wake-up call?  I think I thought we could have it all out, talk it all through. But no. I was devastated. 

A few days passed and I made the decision not to work as I was ill with worry. A few messages were exchanged; insults too. Understandably, maybe, but still deeply hurtful. He had made his mind up. After eight years, all of the good times and everything we had built together was over. 

I was left with an overwhelming feeling of grief. Things got really bad, and I became very seriously unwell.

I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t talk, nothing. I couldn’t watch TV or listen to music. I just couldn’t do it. I felt like I was having a stroke, or worse. I stopped working completely.

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I couldn’t bear to be in the house we had lived in together, so I moved in with my mum – old Linda. She’s always been there for me. But it wasn’t like we were curled up under a blanket together with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, watching Steel Magnolias and crying about how sh*t life and men are.

The actual fact was that I was sitting in her dressing gown, alone, in the front room with the blinds down, refusing to talk. Well, not refusing to exactly, but incapable of it. 

I would go to bed and pray I wouldn’t wake up. I was numb; as if my mouth had stopped working. And then when I did start talking, I talked with a slur, the words just weren’t connecting in my brain. At the same time everything hurt. 

With no further communication between me and my ex, I went into self-blame. I started spiralling down, feeling like maybe I deserved all this. 

Mum was worried and getting increasingly unwell, trying to feed me and look after me, but there was nothing she could do.

For the first time in my THIRTY-TWO years, I felt I couldn’t carry on no more. 

‘What’s the point?’ I thought. I’d lost the one thing I always wanted: a man I loved. And so I tried to end it. 

I won’t go into detail as I don’t think it’s fair on my mum, but thank God I was unsuccessful. That’s when I knew I had to go away. I sat Mum down and told her I needed to be locked up.

I said, ‘I can’t do it any more.’ I could see in her eyes that she couldn’t believe what was happening to her baby. She called my big brother Jamie and my managers and they arranged for me to go to a mental health hospital where they knew I would be well looked after. 

I’m all too aware of how lucky I was that I could go to a private place, which is a privilege most don’t have.

When I got in the car with my brother to go to the hospital all I could think of was, ‘I hope I’ll have the opportunity there to finish it.’ That way my mum wouldn’t be the person to find me. That was the only thought running through my mind. 

When we got to the hospital, I was taken to a white, cell-like room where everything was curved, smooth, no edges. Even the shower head was a strange shape, and I know why, because I’d already thought of how I could end it.

I was made to unpack my suitcase that Mum had got ready for me. The first thing to go was the belt from my dressing gown. I just remember sitting on the bed, sobbing. I spent just over a week in there.

When I was let out, I went back to my mum’s house, where I spent three months laid up, hiding from the world. I had another spell of bad thoughts and had to go back to the hospital for another week. It was hell.

During this time, Mum secretly arranged for Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford to come and see me. They are two of my closest friends in this industry – well, almost step-parents really.

I remember how their faces looked when they saw me, seeing how badly ill I was, and then Eamonn became very upset. I’d never seen Eamonn get upset like that before, and that was like a wake-up call.

I remember thinking, ‘Do I look that ill? Am I that bad?’ It was just awful. They stayed with me all that day.

I needed to try to make some steps towards feeling normal again. But I wasn’t behaving normally, I still couldn’t speak properly. 

I needed the pain to go away – it was killing me, literally. I started to drink. Heavily. I’ve NEVER in my life been a heavy drinker. Now it was the only way I knew to stop the painful thoughts. It got bad. Really bad. It makes me feel sick just thinking about it.

One day, I was so intoxicated, I messaged my husband constantly, apologising, wishing he would come back. He agreed to meet and we spoke for a bit. He seemed disinterested and guarded but I’d expected that.

We saw each other sporadically after that. He was always cold and distant, but I felt I deserved it. Then for about two weeks we made a go of it and he moved back in. 

I tried to pretend everything was OK, but deep down I knew something wasn’t right. I started to think of all the times I’d doubted in previous years. 

Then it came, the night when I knew for sure that things weren’t going to work out. I confronted him about some of our issues. He got angry. I drank and drank until I fell asleep.

Some hours later I woke up to find him walking out of the front door with his suitcases. No conversation. He just got into his car and drove off.

I couldn’t believe it. I’d answered every question, told him everything, and now he cuts and runs away and I’m the one who’s left with questions? Bulls***, mate. 

I called him, no answer. I drove around looking for him. I couldn’t find him. The following morning he messaged saying, ‘It’s over.’ I’ve never seen him since.

It still keeps playing on my mind why he didn’t want to work to fix what we had. Well, unfortunately/fortunately, I found my answers. 

I won’t go into any more detail about what happened. I can’t bear to, but we both know the truth. I could be that person that writes it all down, that shows you all the dirty laundry, but over the last ten years I’ve never done that. And as awful as this time has been for me, I’m not gonna start now. 

But the best thing to come out of it? NOW I know why I told him. NOW I know why I decided that morning to wake up and (supposedly) ruin my entire perfect life with a bombshell. I didn’t, in fact. Quite the opposite.

In the end, in spite of all the darkness I went through in the aftermath, what I thought was a form of self-sabotage was actually a way of me saving myself. I just didn’t realise it at the time.  

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I still want to find ‘the one’ – but most of all, I need to trust someone again and I don’t know how long that’s gonna take me, unfortunately. Time will tell when I’m ready to meet that special someone. 

And next time, I’d get a prenup. Silly pr***.

Ten: The Decade That Changed My Life by Rylan is published on September 27 (Seven Dials) 

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