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YOU’VE GOT A TEXT! Benny James Meets The Islanders #LoveIsland

LOVE Island returned last night on ITV2 and ITV Hub for its seventh sizzling series with a new batch of sexy singletons seeking to find their perfect match.

More texts, fire pit gatherings and challenges awaited the lovestruck Islanders, meaning there’ll be plenty for them to dish the dirt on in the Beach Hut.

Before they went in, I caught up with the Islanders who will flirt, date, couple up and try and avoid being ‘dumped’ from the villa.

Sharon Gaffka

25 from Oxford 

Civil Servant – Operations Lead for Transport

What made you want to take part in the new series of 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!

Tell us about your job. What do you do for work at the moment?

I’ve been a civil servant since I was 18. 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!

What do you look for in a romantic partner?

I have this thing where if something doesn’t work out with one person, I’ll try and go for the other extreme to see if that works out. I tend to date someone who is taller than me, even though my last long-term partner, he was actually someone who was shorter than me. I’m quite an intellectual person so I want someone who can kind of match that.

Aaron Francis

24 from London 

Luxury Events Host

What made you want to take part in the new series of Love Island?

I’ve been single for about six or seven months and the dating world at the moment is a little bit off. 

Everyone’s wearing masks. You can’t really see anyone which makes dating a lot harder. I do prefer relationships than dating.

You’ve met lots of celebs through your 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. 

What are you looking for in a romantic partner?

I need someone that is passionate about what they are doing – from scientist to anything – you can tell when someone is speaking about something and they are actually smiling while they are talking. I love that. I don’t like when people are doing a job just to make money and then they kind of just live for the weekend. Especially because I work on the weekends.

Liberty Poole

21 from Birmingham

Waitress & Marketing Student

What made you want to take part in the new series of Love Island?

I’ve never had that nice, happy relationship so I think it will be nice and something for me to experience. Obviously I want the best summer ever because we have been in lockdown for a year so it would be nice to go away and enjoy the sun and make friends as well. I’m excited, I’m a bit of a social butterfly so I love to meet new people. I’m a girls’ girl as well so I can’t wait for the girly friendships. It’s going to be fun!

Have you seen awkward dates while working at Nando’s?

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! 

What are you looking for in a romantic partner?

So I like tall, alpha male, confident, a cheeky chappy sort of guy. But obviously that’s always usually combined with player types, which is where I go wrong. So I am trying to change my ways and go for more of a nicer guy that is going to treat me right.

Hugo Hammond

24 from Hampshire

P.E Teacher

What made you want to take part in the new series of Love Island?

I’ve been single for a while now. With the current climate, it’s been really hard to get back into dating. I saw it as an opportunity to have an amazing fun summer and put myself back out there.

What do you do for work at the moment? Tell us about your 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.

Tell us about your cricket career?

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.

Shannon Singh

22 from Fife

Model

What made you want to take part in the new series of Love Island?

It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. If you’re lucky enough to participate in the show, why would you not? And hopefully meet an exciting hunk.

Tell us a bit more about your job?

I used to be a glamour model when I was 18/19. I loved those days, I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of, they were my glory days. Now I’m more on Instagram/ YouTube. I’ve done a bit of commercial modelling. I can DJ as well.

What are you looking for in a romantic partner?

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.

Jake Cornish

24 from Weston-super-Mare

Water Engineer

What made you want to take part in the new series of Love Island?

I was in a relationship for seven years and then when lockdown hit, I was single. The opportunity is there, you might as well take it by the horns and go for it.

What do you look for in a romantic partner?

Looks wise, always gone for blondes. But for me, the main thing is having respect and having good fun, and someone who will be loyal to you. I’ve had messages from girls that have got boyfriends and husbands. 

This is why I don’t trust anyone. Someone who is loyal really. But when I’m single, I like having a good time!

Who is your celebrity crush?

My ideal woman is Billie Faiers. 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.

Kaz Kamwi

26 from Essex

Fashion Blogger

What made you want to take part in the new series of Love Island?

I like meeting new people, I’m ready to be in a relationship. Why not be in a place where people are looking for the same things as me?

How would your friends and family describe you?

I’m fun, dramatic, spontaneous. Friendly as well. Light-hearted. Life is a party – I’m not the mum in the group, my friends are not looking at me to look after them!

What’s the worst date you’ve had?

A guy asked me out for dinner and he was ‘mystery dining’ the restaurant. I will never get over the fact that he made me pay, while he got to eat for free and he made me sit there while he did his review.

Toby Aromolaran

22 from Essex

Semi-Pro Footballer

What made you want to take part in the new series of Love Island?

I’ve never been in a relationship. I thought, ‘If Love Island can’t find me a relationship then no one can’.

What do you do for work at the moment? Tell us about your job.

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.

How would your friends and family describe you?

Optimistic. I always see the bright side in the worst situations. I’m a fun guy when I go on a night out. Responsible guy as well.

Faye Winter

26 from Devon

Lettings Manager

What made you want to take part in the new series of Love Island?

In the last year we haven’t been able to experience anything. I’m open to anything. The opportunity came up so why wouldn’t I? I’d love to meet somebody, what better way to meet somebody than in the sun – amazing. 

What do you do for work at the moment? Tell us about your job.

I’m a lettings manager and I’ve got an amazing team. I go out and do valuations, win business for the company and I’ll do the odd viewing and find tenants. My main role is the sales side of things. 

I absolutely love it! I’ve actually only taken a sabbatical from work because in my ideal world, I’d love to go back to work. I try to make it as Selling Sunset as possible.

I’m definitely there in the mini dresses, boobs out, bum out, turning up and you can see the wives say to their husband, “You’re staying outside”. It’s so fun.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years from now?

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.

Brad McClelland

26 from Northumberland

Labourer

What made you want to take part in the new series of Love Island?

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?

What would your colleagues say about you?

I try and make as much money as I can by doing as little as possible. They’d probably say – not lazy, as I’m energetic – I just try to get away with doing literally nothing.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Sommer Ray from Instagram. Zara McDermott, she’s a good-looking lass. Or Megan Fox.

Love Island airs every night at 9pm on ITV2 and ITV Hub (UK Only)

BENNY’S TAKE: READ MORE

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