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Michael Owen’s daughter Gemma among this year’s Love Island line-up

The popular dating show returns next Monday with a new crop of contestants looking for love.


Laura Whitmore returns as host of Love Island 2022 (Ian West/PA)

Laura Whitmore returns as host of Love Island 2022 (Ian West/PA)

Laura Whitmore returns as host of Love Island 2022 (Ian West/PA)

Former England striker Michael Owen’s daughter Gemma is among the newly announced Love Island line-up, which also includes a paramedic and a dancer with a cochlear implant.

The 19-year-old international dressage rider and business owner said she will show her ambition on the dating show after growing up around her ex-footballer father and competing for Great Britain in dressage since the age of 11.

She will join the new crop of contestants when the popular ITV2 series returns at 9pm on Monday June 6.

When it comes to relationships, Gemma said: “I will always go for what I want.

“But, at the same time, I’m not going to mess up something for someone who is in a proper relationship or get in the way of a couple if they have a genuine connection.

“I wouldn’t do anything to another girl that I wouldn’t be happy with them doing to me.”

Gemma’s father, 42, played for Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United and was part of the England squad for the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

Also looking for love will be dancer and model Tasha Ghouri, who has a cochlear implant and lives in Thirsk, North Yorkshire.

The 23-year-old said her family and friends would describe her as a “party animal”, but feels she also inspires others because she is open about her hearing troubles.

Although she said she is a “girls’ girl”, she is willing to step on some toes “in the nicest way possible” in her quest to find a man.

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Another contestant will be Davide Sanclimenti, 27, from Rome, who said he is going to bring his “Italian charm” to the villa.

The business owner, who lives in Manchester, said: “I’m good-looking and I’ve realised, since I first arrived in Manchester, a lot of English girls actually love me. They love to be around me and I love to be around them.”

He added: “I want to find my soulmate, find my person so I can actually build something in the future, grow with them, be a family.”

Meanwhile, Indiyah Polack, 23, said she will bring “a lot of flavour and vibrancy”.

The London-based hotel waitress said: “I feel like I’m quite a down-to-earth person so it shouldn’t be an issue to meet a lover or a friend.”

Also hoping to find love will be senior microbiologist Dami Hope, who is taking part because he wants to be “more open to new things”.

The 26-year-old, from Dublin, said: “Love Island is a different experience. I will be talking to different girls. It might not go well with some, might go well with others, so it’s a fun experience.”

Paramedic Paige Thorne, 24, said she has struggled to find a partner in her hometown of Swansea in South Wales.

“I need to break out and broaden my horizons and Love Island just brings everyone together for me,” she said.

Fellow Welsh contestant Liam Llewellyn, 22, from Newport, said he is quite emotional and will wear his “heart on his sleeve”.

The masters student in strength and conditioning said he likes to impress someone he is interested in with a compliment like “your eyes are piercing, I’m lost in your eyes” or “you’ve got nice feet”.

Amber Beckford, a 24-year-old nanny from London, said she is unsure how her opinionated nature will be received.

She said: “As I work with kids, I have patience with kids. But adults, they annoy me!”

Estate agent Andrew Le Page, 27, from Guernsey, described himself as a “very loyal” partner, saying when he is with someone he is “all for them”.

While 23-year-old fishmonger Luca Bish, from Brighton, is hoping to be this year’s prize catch.

He said he prefers to meet girls out and about but feels it can come across as “too desperate” if you go out looking to find a partner.

Rounding off this year’s initial line-up is pharmaceutical sales specialist Ikenna Ekwonna, 23, from Nottingham, who feels he is now at the age where he could find someone special.

This year, the contestants will enter a new villa in Majorca because the previous property, near Sant Llorenc des Cardassar in the east of the Spanish island, is reportedly unavailable.

Laura Whitmore will return as host.

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