I'm A Celebrity's Beau Ryan: From NRL player to beloved TV star

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Former NRL player Beau Ryan has broken the mould and proven he has what it takes on the field, and as an entertainer.

The star is currently a contestant on Channel 10's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! and is already winning over the hearts of viewers around Australia.

Beau Ryan on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!
Beau Ryan is currently starring on Channel 10's I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. Photo: Channel 10

Beau played rugby league from an early age, joining Wests Illawarra juniors and the NSW schoolboys team, before finally getting his break at St George Illawarra.

In 2007 he joined Wests Tigers and made his NRL debut, but being a national rugby league star wasn't enough.

In 2009 he joined The Footy Show on Channel 9 and in 2010 was given his own regular comedic spot with "Beau Knows ..."

Beau Ryan of the Tigers dives in to score a try during the round 21 NRL match between the Wests Tigers and the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at the Sydney Football Stadium on August 3, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.
Beau Ryan playing for the Tigers in 2009. Photo: Getty Images

"I love my role - within The Footy Show and within my footy team," Beau told The Daily Telegraph in 2010.

"It's a perfect balance.

"I’m not sure if a bigger workload would affect me.

"[But] if Channel 9 wanted to extend me or give me a different role, I’d have to have a look at it."

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Footy came first

While Beau relished the work, at that stage, he knew where his priorities lay.

"I'm a rugby league player; I'm not going to throw it away by making people laugh," he said.

"If it was affecting my football, I'd pull the plug straight away."

But he managed to keep both going without sacrificing either and even his coach approved.

"Some players play golf on their day off. He goes and has some fun doing some television," Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens said at the time.

Not the retiring kind

When it came time for Beau to retire from his sporting career after a neck injury in 2014, he was already an established TV personality.

While he's tried his hand at many things in the entertainment arena - from starring in the 2018 movie Chasing Comets and releasing a single called Where You From? in 2014, to co-hosting a radio show - it was his TV hosting and appearances fans loved.

Beau stayed on The Footy Show until it was axed in 2018 and hosted The Amazing Race Australia and Chris & Julia's Sunday Night Takeaway, as well as making regular appearances on breakfast show Studio 10.

He is currently appearing on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here.

Beau Ryan poses near water for The Amazing Race Australia; in a red singlet for I'm A Celebrity and in a blue blazer, white shirt and pants for Studio 10. Photo: Instagram/@therealbeauryan
Beau's gig now include The Amazing Race Australia, I'm A Celebrity and Studio 10. Photo: Instagram/@therealbeauryan

Family keeps star grounded

It's Beau's family who have made his career possible and kept him down to earth, including wife Kara.

"My wife is a rock. If I'm out early or out late, I come home, the kids are already down and she keeps everything in order at home and that makes it so much easier for me," he told Now To Love.

A black and white newspaper clipping of Beau Ryan and his wife Kara when they were 19 at a nightclub in Wollongong. Photo: Instagram/@kararyan_
Beau and Kara when they were 19 at a nightclub in Wollongong. Photo: Instagram/@kararyan_

Beau and Kara were high school sweethearts.

They married in 2012 when Kara was pregnant with their daughter Remi.

It wasn't all smooth sailing.

The couple almost broke up in 2015 when it was revealed Beau had an affair with former High-5 singer Lauren Brant.

Beau Ryan and Kara on their wedding day. Kara is pregnant and wears a veil and off-the-shoulder gown. Beau is in a dark suit. Photo: Instagram/@therealbeauryan
Beau and Kara on their wedding day. Photo: Instagram/@therealbeauryan

Beau owned his mistake, later telling the Ball's Deep podcast that his relationship was at breaking point at that time.

“When I retired [from NRL] … I was very self-absorbed and focused on working and providing,” Beau explained.

“We spent a lot of time apart and in 2014/15 I was working my a**e off, but I wasn’t connected and I wasn’t really connected to anyone."

Star pledges 'Never again'

While Beau admitted he was ashamed about what he had done, he has grown from the experience.

“Kara has been through everything with me … we’ve been together for 15 years," he said.

"We’ve had so many good and bad times.

"But to hurt her, and to know what it’s going to do to my family, I would never put them in that position again.”

Kara and Beau went on to have son Jesse in 2017 and now enjoy the family life and rewards from Beau's hard work, both as an athlete and an entertainer.

Beau with wife Kara, daughter Remi and son Jesse on Beau's birthday last year, with cupcakes and candles. They are seated at a table. Photo: Instagram/@therealbeauryan
Beau with wife Kara, daughter Remi and son Jesse on Beau's birthday last year. Photo: Instagram/@therealbeauryan

Down to 'work ethic'

"I often think about where I was and how far I have come," Beau told The Daily Telegraph.

"I have had all these opportunities because of my work ethic.

"Some guys just think they will fall into something when they finish.

"Some might, but most won’t.

"There is no secret when it comes to getting something you want.

"You have to go for it. Have to give it everything you’ve got."

Scandal 'ripped league apart'

He also opened up about the doping allegations that engulfed his former club, the Cronulla Sharks in scandal in 2013.

The 36-year-old said it was "one of the darkest days in sport" when ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) began investigating the legality of the club's supplements program during the 2011 NRL season.

"Nath asked me today about the doping scandal at Cronulla and I was there when the ASADA scandal came out but I wasn’t there in 2011 when all the allegations were made of doping," Beau said in a piece-to-camera.

"It ripped the league apart."

Beau told Nathan that he and his teammates were "called in at training one day" to face the integrity unit and the NRL commission.

The Ryan family - Beau, Kara, Remi and Jesse - pose in a garden. Photo: Instagram/@kararyan_
The Ryan family - Beau, Kara, Remi and Jesse - bringing in the New Year. Photo: Instagram/@kararyan_

And they said, 'You’ve seen the news? This is going to be one of the darkest days in sport. Something happened at this club in regards to doping and stuff. Be honest and tell us what’s happened because they’ve got ya’.

"We were in a room for like 12 hours. That was the first day of the investigation."

Beau added that during ASADA's investigation, which began in February 2013, players were regularly pulled out of training to be interviewed.

"So we’d be training and they’d go, ‘All right, four players, boom’, straight into an interrogation with ASADA," he said.

"They were saying, ‘You come forward and say yeah you’ve doped, we’ll give you a six-month suspension that you serve in the pre-season'," he added.

Beau explained that at that time the Sharks was made up of 40 percent new players, including himself, many of whom weren't aware of the situation.

"I remember there was a few of us going, ‘What is it?’ And they were like, ‘They know’. 'Who’s they?' They tried to smoke out everyone out and then the team just fell apart," he said.

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