He has long dreaded Big Brother’s demise – claiming it would leave him “devastated”.

And that appears to be no understatement for Rylan Clark-Neal, who publicly addressed his departure from the Channel 5 series, this week.

Taking to on Friday morning, the Essex-born star posted an emotional message which detailed is obvious upset at the programme’s axing.

“After six years working on one of the most iconic shows on television I’m saddened to hear the news Big Brother won’t be returning,” he said.

“It has been the biggest privilege being a housemate, a winner and a host on my favourite show on television.”

Rylan Clark-Neal is mourning the loss of his TV gig

He then made reference to his co-stars, describing them as lifelong confidantes.

“To work with Emma, Marcus and the amazing team on BOTS every day and have made friends for life, I’m truly the luckiest guy in the industry,” he added.

“I hope one day Big Brother will return but my focus now, as with the rest of the team is to make our last series the best yet.

“I’d like to thank all of our guests, housemates and teams from over the years, Endemol and Channel 5 for having me and most of all the viewers for sharing this amazing journey. I learned how to host a show on the job here and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity.”

Sadly, Emma is yet to make a public address on the news.

However, Rylan’s comments come just hours after Channel 5 bosses confirmed the long-running show will not be revived for another series.

Endemol Shine UK, the producers of Big Brother, said in a statement that they are “incredibly proud” of the show, which they said has “consistently been the highest rated show for Channel 5 over the past seven years, with the latest series of Celebrity Big Brother being the channel’s highest rating show of the year, growing its audience year-on-year by 17% and tripling the channel’s slot average for 16-24s.”

Emma Willis is yet to comment on the axing

A statement posted on Twitter said: “This performance is credit to the fantastic production team, plus Emma, Rylan, Marcus and the many housemates over the years who have delivered so many unmissable series. Big Brother continues to be a global phenomenon.

“The UK is one of 20 countries where the show will air in 2018, including the US where Celebrity Big Brother was recently renewed, four different versions in India and last month’s Celebrity Big Brother in Germany which saw a rise in 85% series on series.

“Whilst disappointed not to reach an agreement with Channel 5 the decision opens up a new chapter and we are excited about future possibilities for Big Brother in the UK.”

* Big Brother kicks off tonight on Channel 5 at 9pm.