Love Island stars unusual jobs before fame from stripper to circus performer

Love Island is known for turning contestants into social media influencers, models, and reality stars, leaving their regular jobs behind in favour of fame.

Each contestant is recruited by ITV2 bosses thanks to their charming personality and dashing good looks, but some fans might be surprised by their professional expertise.

Certain cast members were trained in highly specialist fields or carved out a living in unusual industries before the dating series came knocking.

Ahead of the new summer series, Daily Star has done a deep dive into the surprising jobs that helped stars of the show pay their bills.

Looking at show favourites like Megan Barton Hanson, Samira Mighty, and Camilla Thurlow, here are Love Island's most unique former jobs.

Amy Hart – cabin crew member

Famed for her ill-fated romance with dancer Curtis Pritchard in 2019's series, Amy Hart captured the heart of the nation with her emotional exit from the show.

Eight years before her stint in the Mallorcan villa, Amy, 26, bagged a job as an air stewardess for British Airways.

She quit her job when she was offered a place in the show's line-up, taking to social media to write: "Sometimes goodbye, though it hurts, in your heart is the only way to make way for destiny…..Doors to manual and cross-check for the very. Last. Time."

"I'm reluctantly hanging up my wings to start a new adventure," she added.

In fact, Amy wasn't the only airline whizz to appear on the show – Laura Anderson from 2018's series similarly worked as a cabin crew member for Emirates Airline for over ten years.

Jack Fincham – pen salesman

Champion of series four, Jack Fincham was a favourite with viewers from the very first episode, going on to couple up with Dani Dyer.

Before he appeared on the show, the 30-year-old was a skilled salesman, selling pens with DMG Office Supplies.

During his time on the show, he spoke frequently about his love for the job, but swiftly handed in his notice once filming wrapped.

Breaking the news, he told fans: "Pens will always have a special place in my heart but I haven't been back since, my desk is empty. I will stay in touch with the boys though."

He didn't completely abandon his love for stationary after leaving the villa – the following year, he launched his own line of swish ballpoint pens.

The advert for the ballpoint gadgets read: "Get the lastest ‘3 in 1' Pen which is both sleek and stylish. With a touch screen stylus, LED light and a ballpoint pen… by Fincham London – the pen collection designed and created by Jack Fincham."

Joe Garratt – sandwich entrepreneur

Though he was just 22 when he joined the cast of Love Island, Joe Garratt was already an entrepreneur, with a talent for making sandwiches.

Previously nicknamed 'The Sandwich Man' on Instagram, Joe ran a catering company in southeast London.

Describing his ideal sandwich, Joe told The Sun: "Chicken bacon spinach – this is like a Joe special. No one understands it but I promise you, it is so good. A bit of mayonnaise, salt, and pepper, a tiny bit of sugar. Yeah, it's proper nice."

And though Love Island fame swept him off his feet, after leaving the villa, Joe admitted he wanted to return to sandwich making.

When asked about his five-year plan, he said he will be "still probably making sandwiches".

Joe added: "I just well enjoy it, it's such a weird thing, no one could understand it on the show."

Samira Mighty – West End performer

To click with viewers on Love Island, it helps if you have a natural talent for entertaining – much like former West End star Samira Mighty.

Long before she hopped on the plane to the island of Mallorca, Samira appeared in theatre shows like Mamma Mia! and Dreamgirls.

Her role on Dreamgirls was recast when she headed to Love Island, with Samira telling Metro: "I was in ensemble so it was quite easy to fill, I didn’t have a cover that was harder to cast, so someone from last year is doing it now.

"It was win-win, if I carried on in Dreamgirls – it’s fantastic and I love it so much – but in five months I may be unemployed again, but [Love Island] was fantastic, I couldn’t turn it down."

And, she put her talent to the test after Love Island wrapped, joining the cast of Celebrity X Factor in 2019 with some of her fellow Islanders.

Known as No Love Lost, their group, made up of Samira, Eyal Booker, Zara McDermott and Wes Nelson, split just six months after the series ended.

Megan Barton Hanson – stripper

Megan Barton Hanson has carved out a successful career since leaving Love Island, working as an Ann Summers ambassador and a sex educator.

Before her time on Love Island, the 27-year-old was working on minimum wage in a law firm, struggling to make ends meet.

However, when she watched a strip show one night, she realised it was an industry she was keen to explore professionally, changing careers.

She headed to a strip club and asked for a job, where she was taught the art of dancing and stripping by one of the club's employees.

"My first ever strip was so daunting," she previously told her fans. "I'm not gonna lie, I was so nervous and geeky at school, and even now to stand up and speak in front of a crowd of people I'd be terrified.

"Obviously to get up and take your clothes off and dance, I didn't have any dance background, I danced like a dad at a disco.

"But I just knew I wanted to earn money and I wanted to really push myself.

"When I first went in I got a girl to show me what to do so I got a lap dance and then I did it back to her and copied and that was my first experience giving a lap dance."

Cara De la Hoyde – circus performer

A star of one of the earlier seasons, Cara De la Hoyde met the love of her life on Love Island, partnering up with Nathan Massey.

The pair even got engaged in the Love Island villa on the two-year anniversary of the summer they met, and went on to welcome two children together.

Before motherhood and fame came her way, Cara worked as a circus performer for Cirque Le Soir, which is a circus-themed nightclub.

There, she charmed patrons with everything from aerial work, hoops, fire, and snakes, her talents taking her around the world.

She would often share photos of her costumes for the stage, with elaborate face paint, scraped back hair and glittering outfits.

Mike Boateng – policeman

Mike Boateng appeared on the most recent season of Love Island, where he fell head over heels for bombshell Priscilla Anyabu.

He quit his role as a police officer before coming on the show, but while filming, rumours began to circulate, claiming he had lied to the police force to join the show.

These rumours were proven to be untrue, with Mike telling Daily Star: "It was frustrating more than anything because all of the negative press and anything shown in the media that we've now seen was all false.

"That kind of narrative was allowed to be pushed throughout my time on the show which was because the police knew that everything that was coming out was false."

Camilla Thurlow – bomb disposal expert

Camilla Thurlow met her future fiancé thanks to the Love Island casting agents, coupling up with male model Jamie Jewitt.

The pair have since welcomed a baby together, daughter Nell, and last year Camilla wrote a book, titled Not The Type: Finding My Place in the Real World.

Drawing on her life's experiences, the book explores her previous job working in disposing of landmines and explosives in war-torn countries.

The experience was a gruelling one, with Camilla telling Andi Peters on Lorraine: "I came back from Afghanistan and I was really struggling with social dislocation.

"I was struggling to process the events that I'd seen in the years preceding, and I was struggling to reconnect with my friends and family.

"So I couldn't quite work out the best way to figure out my future, I couldn't work out how to balance everything. I knew that I was working in something that I loved and felt passionate about, but equally I knew at that point that I wasn't maintaining healthy relationships with friends and family at home."

That struggle inspired her to sign up for Love Island, and the rest is history.

Love Island debuts on June 28 on ITV2.

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