Wednesday 21 August 2019

'Love Island has made me a different woman', says breakout star Maura Higgins

Curtis Pritchard and Maura Higgins in fourth place on Love Island. Picture: Matt Frost/ITV/REX
Curtis Pritchard and Maura Higgins in fourth place on Love Island. Picture: Matt Frost/ITV/REX
Maura Higgins came fourth during the final in Majorca
Chloe Markham, of Rathkeale, Eurovision singer Sarah McTernan, of Co Clare, and Lara Horton, of Ennis

Sorcha O'Connor in Longford

As the curtains came down on 'Love Island' and Maura Higgins's unforgettable time on the show, she said she was a "different" woman from the one who burst on to our screens two months ago.

And while she and her partner Curtis finished fourth, behind winners Greg and Amber, this is only the beginning of her burgeoning TV career, according to her sister Becki.

The Ballymahon model is set to rake in the cash thanks to endorsement deals and public appearances.

With an Instagram following of more than 1.4 million and a central role in the hit TV show of the summer, she is an advertiser's dream.

Maura Higgins came fourth during the final in Majorca
Maura Higgins came fourth during the final in Majorca

Speaking on the show to Curtis, she said she had become "very different" since she joined the cast.

Becki, meanwhile, said life will never be the same again for her famous sister.

"She seems so comfortable behind the screen," the 26-year-old told the Irish Independent. "I can't see her coming back here - I'd say it will be London or somewhere else in England.

"There is so much lined up for her but I would love to see her on 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!', if I could pick for her. She would be terrified but class on it - she'd be effing and blinding out of her."

Becki said she wasn't disappointed with Maura's fourth place finish, saying: "I'm happy she got so far and into the final."

The family didn't know Maura would be walking into the villa until the night before she burst onto TV screens. Becki said it had been a "shock" at first.

"Ballymahon is such a small place and nothing much good comes from it - and then this happened," she said.

Maura was famed for letting the odd profanity slip and her confidence seemed to ooze into the nation's sitting room every evening. But Becki said Maura might have been feeling different on the inside.

Chloe Markham, of Rathkeale, Eurovision singer Sarah McTernan, of Co Clare, and Lara Horton, of Ennis
Chloe Markham, of Rathkeale, Eurovision singer Sarah McTernan, of Co Clare, and Lara Horton, of Ennis

"She has quietened down since she got with Curtis but at the start I'd say she was scared herself, and of course, all the girls were laughing and looking down at her and she probably felt awful but she got the best out of it anyway."

Maura had to miss her sister Louise's wedding last Friday, but ultimately the family think that things have worked out well for their 'Love Island' star.

"We would have loved to have her there but Louise gave her blessing and we were almost happier for her that she was in 'Love Island'."

Her dad Seamus certainly couldn't be prouder of her. "I am so proud of her. She always wanted to be on television but she was shy when she was younger, she always wanted to perform, and it was: 'look at me, listen to me'. That was Maura," he said. "She is brash but she is sensitive too."

There was plenty for Irish viewers to tune in for during last night's final with both Maura and Limerick rugby player Greg O'Shea flying the flag for Ireland in a bid to scoop the £50,000 grand prize.

'Dancing with the Stars' dancer Curtis Pritchard - who was coupled up with Maura - was also a familiar face for audiences from his stint on the RTÉ show.

Last night's episode brought the eight-week summer of fun to an end for the remaining contestants.

Irish Independent

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