Rylan hits back at critics after he was unveiled as anchor for Channel 4’s election night

Rylan Clark-Neal will host Channel 4's election night coverage. Photograph: Ian West/PA.

Rylan Clark-Neal will host Channel 4's election night coverage. Photograph: Ian West/PA. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Television presenter Rylan Clark-Neal has hit back at critics after he was unveiled as an anchor for Channel 4's alternative election coverage, arguing he can do a better job than a lot of political journalists.

Speaking to the Big Issue magazine he criticised those who believed he should not be talking politics, arguing those who follow him "might not necessarily understand Brexit".

He said he had encountered "a few snobby-arsed comments from a few snobby-arsed people who were like, what the f*** do you know?" when he was quote tweeted over Brexit by political journalists earlier in the year.

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."

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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."

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He said he feels "no pressure to fit in a box others want to put (him) in", explaining : "Politics is something I've been interested in for a long time.

"More now than ever because of Brexit."

But 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."

Clark-Neal will join Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Katherine Ryan in Channel 4's live broadcast after the polls close on December 12.

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

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