Could Ryan Ruckledge take Josie Cunningham's crown as the most hated person in Britain?

He failed to win over The X Factor judges during an audition in 2013.

And now 22-year-old Ryan Ruckledge has failed to win over the general public after claiming he’d like the NHS to fund his £25,000 addiction to tanning injections on This Morning.

The Blackpool telesales worker then went on to claim ‘he’d rather die than be pale’ when quizzed by Phillip Schofield if he’s worried about the health risks following a ‘heart attack scare’ last year from the illegal tanning hormone.

While outraged viewers were then quick to question his ‘stupidity’ online and compare him to Josie Cunningham – who has been hitting the headlines for two years since launching a glamour modelling career on the back of her taxpayer-funded boob job – I can’t help but feel a slight sense of sadness at the whole situation.

Following Ryan’s previous attempts at fame and fortune, including his forgettable X Factor and ITV2 Ibiza Weekender auditions, Ryan seems to have struck gold (or shall we say orange) this time following his shirtless Sunday newspaper spread and appearance on This Morning.

But is abusing the National Health Service with some shock claims and comments really the best way to gain celebrity status?

Not quite. But I’m afraid it seems to be working.

Revelling in the attention, the Josie Cunningham man-with-a-tan then went on to boast on Twitter if he ‘wants stuff on the NHS, he will’ with Celebrity Big Brother star David McIntosh even urging him to ‘do what you must in the name of beauty’.

However, most ironic, is the fact that prior to his current notoriety, Ryan spent the past 12 months amassing millions of views while sharing a series of foul-mouth video rants on Facebook targeted at the likes of Josie Cunningham and the 25 stone mother-of-two Christina Briggs who demanded more money from the government to help her diet.

In one video, which boasts over 200,000 views, Ryan even claims Christina’s friends contacted him directly claiming his threatening video blogs had left her afraid to leave her home and take her children to school.

One of Ryan’s explicit rants includes him questioning the ’25-stone scroungers’ for talking to the press, while claming benefits are there for those who truly need them.

So feel shame for him and how the slightest bit of attention has led him to follow the exact same path with shock tactics in order to create a public profile on the foundation of government funding.

Joshua Fox