'I think she's absolutely hilarious' - Love Island winner Dani Dyer gets behind Maura Higgins
Dani Dyer, last year's winner of Love Island has come out in support of Irish contestant Maura Higgins.
The 23-year-old spoke on the Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio One this morning, saying she loved the Longford native, a bombshell arrival who shook up the relative harmony in the villa when she arrived earlier this month.
"I really really do love Maura. I find her absolutely hilarious, and I think the villa needed that," she said.
"She's got such a good personality, in a place like that, you need to have a laugh, and she's bringing that to the table."
When asked about the backlash Maura has received online, Dani says people are misunderstanding the former beauty queen. "She's just funny... people are taking her way too seriously. It's just a reality show, you've got to have fun... she brings the entertainment to the show."
Maura has come under fire from some viewers who claim she is talking about sex "too much". However, other people say that the double standards being applied to the Ballymahon model are unfair.
However, she's backing Tommy Fury, who is currently coupled with Molly Mae, to win.
Since leaving the villa, she split with boyfriend Jack Fincham and has enjoyed a lucrative career thanks to her high profile and landed a reality show with her actor father Danny.
And she has unique insight into just how stressful it can be in there away from friends and family.
"It's just the summer of a lifetime...a rollercoaster, it's definitely ups and downs."
She also confirmed that the contestants are genuinely isolated from the rest of the world. Last year when she was in the villa, she had no idea who was winning the World Cup.
She also said that the islanders got one day off where they weren't filmed. "You're always in complete villa mode."
Viewers of the show this year were particularly critical of the perceived tension between the female contestants. Dani says the girls should stick together and "be wise."
Dani also believes the reason why Love Island is so popular is because it's enjoyable mindless television. "It's an easy watch, its fun and its enjoyable. Everyone loves love and everyone likes to see relationships unfold."
She also said the show should be watched under parental supervision. "It should be limited [when] its a younger audience. Most mums watch it before, then show [the appropriate parts]. That is what my mum and dad did last year with my little sister last when I was on it."
Ultimately, for Dani the show was positive. "Getting to experience the whole thing [was the best part]. [I made] friends for life...there was nothing bad about winning."
Two former contestants of the show, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis, took their own lives after the show finsihed. People have been calling for more aftercare to be put in place for the contestants.
However, Dani says her experience with aftercare was positve. "I can only talk about my own experience. I was always supported, and the other contestants were... they were only a phone call away."
Dani was in Penneys in Dublin this morning promoting her new lash range with SoSu by Suzanne Jackson. She gushed about the shop and the fans, saying "I could spend all day in there."