Love Island cast announced ahead of series return

A semi-professional footballer, a lettings manager and a civil servant have joined the cast of Love Island, alongside the show’s first contestant with a physical disability.

A model, a luxury events host and a fashion blogger will also enter the villa alongside Hugo Hammond, 24, a PE teacher from Hampshire, who was born with club foot and previously played cricket for the England Physical Disability team.

The series will return to ITV2 on June 28 after it was cancelled last summer because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hammond, who has travelled all over the world to play cricket, including Bangladesh and Dubai, said: “I was born with club foot. 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.”

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In 2018, contestant Niall Aslam left the series early, later explaining on social media that he had Asperger syndrome, a form of autism that can make it difficult to cope with change or stress.

Hammond is joined in the cast by Toby Aromolaran, 22, from Essex, who plays for a football team called Hashtag United.

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He sad: “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.”

Lettings manager Faye Winter, 26, from Devon, said she wanted to go on the show after the restrictions of lockdown.

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She said: “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.”

Also entering the villa is Chloe Burrow, 25, a financial services marketing executive from Bicester; Brad McClelland, 26, a labourer from Northumberland; and civil servant Sharon Gaffka, 25, from Oxford, who was previously an operations lead for the Department for Transport.

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The former beauty queen and Young Women’s Trust ambassador said she has been a civil servant since the age of 18, adding: “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!”

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Another contestant 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.”

He is joined by Jake Cornish, a 24-year old water engineer from Weston-super-Mare, fashion blogger Kaz Kamwi, 26, from Essex, and Nando’s waitress Liberty Poole, 22, from Birmingham, who is also a marketing student, as well as model Shannon Singh, 22, from Fife.

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The new series, in which Laura Whitmore will return as host, starts on June 28 at 9pm and airs on ITV2 and the ITV Hub.