The X Factor hopeful Rylan Clark has revealed that he endured homophobic bullying when he was younger – with one attack leaving him with a fractured skull.

The 23-year-old – who made it through to boot camp on Saturday’s show despite dividing the judges with his performance – is now a male model who spends thousands on his appearance, but admitted his past had been difficult.

“I was the fat ginger kid at school,” he told The Sun. “The bullying was bad. It affected my education.

“I got pulled off a swing and some boy kicked me in the head and fractured my skull. I was in hospital. It was homophobic bullying.”

Rylan added that the incident still leaves him worried about his appearance, which he spends a lot of money maintaining.

“I am really obsessed with my image,” he admitted “I’ve had Botox and had my lips done. I probably spend two thirds of my wages on cosmetics.”

Rylan – a former singer in Take That and Westlife tribute bands – got a thumbs up from Tulisa, Louis Walsh and guest judge Rita Ora for his interpretation of Des’ree’s Kissing You on Saturday’s show – but Gary Barlow was not impressed.

“I love your personality,” he said. “But I hate your voice.”