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  • Christopher Maloney admits he's gay and in a long-term relationship
  • Christopher Maloney had a breakdown after coming third on The X Factor
  • Gary Barlow has told Christopher Maloney to keep his head down and be patient after the negative attention he's been getting
Now's Dan Wootton was surprised as anyone when he got a call to say that Christopher Maloney - one of the most controversial contestants in X Factor history - wanted to do his only tell-all interview since leaving the show with him.

After all, it was Dan who branded him 'Baloney' in the early weeks of last year's series, a nickname that soon caught on with the rest of the UK.

Trouble seemed to follow Chris.

There were constant rumours of backstage tensions between the former cruise ship crooner, 35, and his fellow acts, not to mention a row with Xtra Factor presenter Caroline Flack.

However, during the final two weeks of the show, Dan became increasingly concerned with the bullying Chris was being subjected to - which even included sick death threats against his nan.

His bizarre behaviour made it clear something wasn't right.

In fact, when Dan and Chris meet at the London offices of his PR company, Chris admits he was going through a 'breakdown', unable to cope with the pressures of the show.

Perhaps some of those pressures included the intense speculation about his sexuality.

He never talked about it then, but here, for the first time, Chris is ready to reveal he's gay.

'Do you know what, I'm going to admit it - yeah,' Chris tells Dan.

'Honestly, I've never denied it or anything like that.

'It's just that with the show it was always an inappropriate time or people just asked inappropriate questions.'

Read Dan Wootton's full interview with Christopher Maloney in Now magazine dated 18 March 2013 - out Tuesday 12 March!

SEE PICTURES Christopher Maloney and the X Factor contestants perform secret gig in London ahead of Saturday's live show

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SEE PICTURES Christopher Maloney and the X Factor 2012 contestants try out the One Direction jumpsuit trend in London