Jenny Ryan: The Chase star talks ‘bad’ struggles amid X Factor Celebrity 2019

The Chase and The X Factor: Celebrity 2019 star Jenny Ryan, 37, has been wowing audiences with her stunning vocals on the singing competition alongside celebrities which include former TOWIE star Megan McKenna, 27, journalist Martin Bashir, 56 and former professional footballer Vinnie Jones, 54.

Anxiety started to build and I didn’t understand what was going on.

Jenny Ryan

The quizmaster has now opened up about a shocking moment where she felt her “brain had stopped working”.

Jenny revealed she was first diagnosed with depression in her late teens after she experienced a peculiar episode.

Speaking to The Mirror, she divulged: “I’d always been the genius of the family. Teachers said I’d definitely go to a top university and could do anything, even be Prime Minister.

“Suddenly, things got harder. I used to enjoy doing homework but stopped trying and felt drained. Anxiety started to build and I didn’t understand what was going on.

“One day at uni it crystallised into something physical and I had an urgent need to go home. On my way to the train station I felt like I had a fish bowl on my head, as if I wasn’t part of the same world as everyone else.”

Jenny revealed she got back to her parent’s home and “flipped out” after she thought her “brain had broken”.

“I eventually went to the doctor who said it sounded like I could be depressed and had had an anxiety attack,” she explained.

“The diagnosis was a relief. I thought, ‘So it’s not just me? I’m not failing? Other people feel like this sometimes?’”

The Chase star is currently competing on the ITV show The X Factor: Celebrity and revealed “music has helped” with the symptoms.

Jenny said: “Music really helps – singing is huge because it releases all the endorphins and gives me a real thrill.

“But I still have bad days. It’s about recognising when I might be spiralling into a dark place.”

Elsewhere, The Vixen recently took to Twitter and announced she would perform on the same stage as a major US music star Lizzo.

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Jenny told her 62,700 Twitter followers that she will perform on the same stage tonight on The X Factor: Celebrity with the US singer.

She wrote: “Actually crying real tears because I’ll be walking the same stage as @lizzo on Saturday night. No joke, I’m dissolving a lot of mascara here.

“ACTUAL LIZZO. #XFactorCelebrity.”

The Detroit native gained international fame this year after her hit song Truth Hurts became a viral sleeper hit, reaching number one in the US two years after it was initially released.


  • Jenny Ryan: X Factor star talks secret bond with Nicole Scherzinger

Meanwhile, Jenny is best known for her role on the quiz show The Chase.

Before this, The Vixen appeared as a contestant on University Challenge and Mastermind.

She later worked as a writer on quiz shows The Weakest Link and QI before joining The Chase as a quizzer in September 2015.

The X Factor: Celebrity is on ITV on Saturday at 8.10pm

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