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Celebrity Big Brother's Rylan Clark-Neal Defends Sarah Harding (And Her Alleged Special Treatment) (EXCLUSIVE)

'When celebs go in the house, it's a different story.'

04/09/2017 21:48 BST

‘Celebrity Big Brother’ presenter Rylan Clark-Neal has stuck up for Sarah Harding, following her controversial win in this summer’s live final.

The ‘Bit On The Side’ host jumped to the defence of Sarah, when HuffPost UK caught up with him on the red carpet at the TV Choice Awards.

Asked whether he thought Sarah was a worthy winner, despite her polarising behaviour during her time in the house, he told us: “I’m always the first one to sit there as the host of the show and say, if someone’s given us content, if someone’s given me something to talk about every single night, I think that’s a deserved winner.

“I’d rather see someone win the show, whether they’re liked or not liked, hated or loved, who gave content every single night and Sarah did that. And I say well deserved to her.”

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Rylan Clark-Neal at the TV Choice Awards

We also asked him what he thought of Sam Thompson and Trisha Paytas’s suggestions that Sarah had received special treatment in the house, to which he explained: “To be perfectly honest, celebs when they go in the house, it’s a different story. So celebs have their contracts that [we] need to adhere to, and stuff like that, but Sarah had no different treatment [from producers] to the rest of the celebs in the house.

“Yes, people said ‘she got special treatment’, ‘she got this’, ‘she got that’, but at the end of the day, Sarah was a housemate, and to become a housemate, you’ve got to adhere to Big Brother’s rules.

“She really, really put herself into the mix and, for someone from [as much fame as] Girls Aloud, she did a great job… and she’s a well-deserved winner.”

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Sarah Harding at the 'CBB' final

Rylan then confessed to having had to talk Sarah into entering the house at all, admitting she had a “wobble” shortly before launch night.

He said: “I’m a good friend of hers outside of the show… I actually spoke to Sarah before she went in, and she had a bit of a ‘wobble’... and I said, ‘Sarah if you don’t wanna do it, don’t do it. No one’s forcing you. But at the end of the day, this is an opportunity that doesn’t come around every single year, and it doesn’t come along every single month’.

“She said, ‘why should I do it?’ and I said, ‘to show the public who you really are’, and she showed the public the good side, the bad side and the vulnerable side. And that’s why I love Sarah, because she’s a really genuine girl.”

Rylan added: “I’m so glad she did [the show], because she’s a really lovely girl and she showed the public who she was, which is a normal girl.

“She has her ups, she has her downs, but at the end of the day, she showed herself, and she showed who she really was. I’m so glad she won because it genuinely means the world to her, and that’s the biggest thing.

“The Sarah I know, makes mistakes, doesn’t know where she is, doesn’t really know what’s going on, but at the end of the day, she pulls it back together.”

Fellow housemate Trisha Paytas, who chose to walk away from the show rather than being evicted, previously suggested that Sarah was being edited favourably “so she would be the winner”.

She fumed: “This is why I had such an issue with her. She’s such a terrible, terrible, terrible human being who just gets away with shit because it was in her contract and she would gloat about stuff.”

A ‘CBB’ spokesperson had previously denied claims made by Trisha on a separate occasion, but declined to comment following Sarah’s victory.

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