What does the name Glyn Wise mean to you? To a generation of Big Brother viewers, he’s the legendary then-18 year old, who slo-mo’d into the house in his Baywatch skimpies in 2006, then cooked an egg for the very first time.
To students in China and Ghana, he’s the English teacher who spent his post-uni years travelling the world and getting to know cultures light years away from his hometown of Blaenau Ffestiniog in north Wales.
And to church-goers at St Michael’s Church in north London, he’s soon-to-be Father Glyn, the priest-in-training who, when he’s not doing his bit to help Camden’s most needy, can be found delivering impassioned sermons from the pulpit.
So, how did one of the UK’s most iconic reality stars go from Big Brother to Father with a big F? Speaking exclusively to heat, Glyn tells us it was always meant to be. “I always felt there was something there,” says the now-34 year old, who – in another one of his many lives – also worked as a radio DJ for BBC Wales.
“When I went on Big Brother, being Christian wasn’t considered very cool, but I’d be praying in bed under the covers. There’s a good quote in the Bible, ‘Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.’ I believe I prayed my way into the house. And now it all feels like a jigsaw puzzle coming together, like it was all leading me to this moment.”
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We’re catching up at heat’s Camden headquarters, just a five-minute walk from St Michael’s, where Glyn now works as an assistant to the priest while completing his degree in Theology. “Hopefully, in two years, I’ll be Father Glyn,” he tells us.
“I just can’t wait. I’ll be able to do everything: marry people, do funerals, baptisms…although, knowing me, the baby will fall in [the holy water]! And then I’ll go wherever the calling takes me. Life is predestined, anyway, so you go where feels right.”
Right on cue, the Big Bro icon – who went viral (well, 2006-style) when he sang, “I’m cooking an egg for the very first time…” – launches into a rap from the West End musical Six. “Everybody chill, it’s totes God’s will…” he laughs. “That should be the headline!”
It’s only fitting that Glyn’s chosen heat to chat all things priesthood. After all, it was this very magazine that featured his racy post-Big Brother photo shoot, alongside the infamous quote, “Sheep watched me lose my virginity”. He may now be less inclined to flash the flesh (it’s not exactly the done thing at Sunday service), but he looks back at that time fondly, and even has his sexy cover shoot framed at home.
As for that naughty streak, life as a man of the cloth isn’t all prayer, no party. In fact, living in London for the first time since he came runner-up to Pete Bennett on Big Brother series seven, Glyn’s having the time of his life. He even got papped at G-A-Y last month – the same night Adele was there – joking that he was a “walking fashion disaster” after going straight from athletics training in a tracksuit.
Still, his priorities are fully focused on giving back. “We’re helping people on the outskirts of society,” he says. “Running soup kitchens and homeless shelters, and helping local sex workers. It’s all about goodness and love: give and you will get back. I’m always thinking, ‘What else can I do?’”
For a man who’s constantly pushing himself, his achievements speak for themselves. But what is he most proud of? “Well, I just came third in Britain in the Badminton men’s doubles,” he tells us with characteristic exuberance – a trait that’s all too lacking these days in many former reality stars. “It was the B-league, mind, but that’s my highlight. I got a really cool medal – make sure you get that in!”
Ask and you will receive, Glyn.