Love Island’s 2021 line up has been confirmed – with a Brummie Nando’s waitress among them!
The island will also welcome its first disabled villa housemate this year, ITV2 today confirmed.
ITV bosses and Love Island execs unleashed each and every contestant on Instagram on Monday June 21 – a week before the series launches.
Among them is Liberty, a Brummie waitress who works in Nando’s, and Hugo, the island’s first ever disabled star, who was born with clubfoot.
Others to feature include Aaron Francis, a 24-year-old with links to Beatrice and Eugenie, the two princesses.
For the full cast, continue reading below.
Hugo Hammond, 24, a PE teacher from Hampshire, was born with clubfoot and previously played cricket for the England Physical Disability team.
He joins the new crop of contestants for the ITV2 series, which airs on June 28.
Speaking about his cricket career, he said: “I’ve actually played cricket for England PD (Physical Disability). I’ve been to Bangladesh, Dubai, I’ve been everywhere to play cricket.
“I was born with clubfoot. I had lots of operations when I was a kid. You can only really tell when I walk barefoot. I’ve got a really short achilles heel. I walk slightly on my tip toes”.
He said of his job: “I teach secondary school PE. Absolutely love my job. I love all my sports. It’s great to be able to pass on that enthusiasm to be physically active to the younger generation and hopefully they feel the same about me teaching them.”
Also hoping to find true love in the villa this year is civil servant Sharon Gaffka, who is taking part because she does not want to be the “only one in the group chat that is single anymore!”
The 25-year-old from Oxford, who is an operations lead for the Department for Transport, said of taking part in Love Island: “It’s been a bit of a running joke between my friendship group for a while that I should apply, probably because I’m the most outrageous one out of the group.
“But also because of Covid and the lockdown, I’m the only single one in my friendship group. They’re either married or planning on getting married. I don’t want to be the only one in the group chat that is single anymore!”
Talking about her job, the former beauty queen and Young Women’s Trust ambassador said she has been a civil servant since the age of 18.
She said: “I’ve worked in lots of different departments. I’ve been doing Brexit policy for the last year, I did a stint during the coronavirus pandemic in the Department of Health so I was helping deliver testing kits and managing the operations. It’s been an intense year!”
Another contestant in the line-up is 24-year-old Aaron Francis from London, a luxury events host, who said of his job, including ‘working at royal weddings’: “Yeah, Eugenie and Beatrice’s over the summer. I hosted and chatted. It was nice and intimate. Everyone’s chill. In my job you meet a lot of famous people… unless you’re Beyonce, I’m not really interested.”
They are joined by Jake Cornish, a 24-year old water engineer from Weston-super-Mare, who said his celebrity crush is reality TV star Billie Faiers.
He explained: “She is my dream woman. I think for a laugh once with the boys, I messaged her. I can’t remember what I messaged her. She’s a lady, she’s just lush”.
Fashion blogger Kaz Kamwi, 26, from Essex, said she wants to take part in Love Island because she’s “ready to be in a relationship”, while model Shannon Singh said being in the dating series was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
The model and former glamour girl is keeping an open mind on potential romances as she heads into the villa, saying: “I don’t feed off looks, I feed off energy, I need someone with personality. Just someone I can have fun with.
I’m a party girl, I love going out, I’m very social. For me it’s quite hard to find people who are genuine and looking for what you’re looking for. I’m not just going to go with anyone because they’re convenient.
I need to make sure they’re for me. Looks – obviously, they’ve got to be handsome, but if he’s a handsome hunk but it’s like talking to a brick wall and I’d rather watch paint dry, it’s not going to be great.”
Nando’s waitress Liberty Poole, 22, from Birmingham, who is also a marketing student, described herself as a “girls’ girl”.
Asked if she had seen any awkward dates while working at Nando’s, she said: “I’ve had people try and rinse me for a date at Nando’s, get the discount and stuff.
“But I’ve never had a date in one. I’ve had a few things happen at work. I’ve had a napkin shaped as a rose given to me which was cute, that was when I first started working there, and then I’ve been proposed to.
“It was a bit unexpected! He was on his own, he’d come into the restaurant every week and he got down on one knee and was like: ‘Will you marry me?’ But in his hand, it was a charity support badge not a diamond ring or nothing. So I was thinking, that’s one way of saying I’m a charity case when it comes to love!”
Labourer Brad can’t wait to look for love in the villa and catch some rays in the process, saying: “I want to date face-to-face, I like meeting people.
“I’m easy going, laid back. Who wouldn’t want to be in a nice villa in a hot country for a while?”
On the subject of her ideal other half, the Financial Services Marketing Executive said: “I like a good build. I go to the gym. I want someone who is funny. Really funny and caring and will do nice little things for you.
“And then obviously someone who you can depend on to not ditch you.
“Because I am quite a big character and quite loud, they would have to be as loud, if not more. I could never be with someone who is quiet. Someone that gives you a bit back.”
The semi-pro footballer plays for an interestingly named club called Hashtag United and, revealing all, said: “I’ve played football since I was about six, but it’s really come into a new light for the past year since I joined a team called Hashtag United.
“They’re very social media focused. Everything is on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. Playing with them has really made me fall in love with the game again.
When asked where she’d like to see herself in five years time, lettings manager Faye said: “I would like my own estate agency or my own charity shop. I want someone who I can go on holidays and stuff with for the next couple of years, and have a really fun time.
“And then start thinking about kids and serious things in three or four years’ time.