Maya Jama entering the Love Island villa
Ask any Love Island fan what the best thing about this year’s series is, and they will likely all have the same answer – Maya Jama.
The ITV2 reality show’s new host has gone down a storm with viewers, with her charm, relatability and humour – not to mention her head-turning lewks – making her the perfect fit.
As perhaps her most high-profile role to date, there’s no doubt Maya’s career is heading to new heights, and its reported Love Island bosses are scrambling to get her to sign a multi-series deal to secure her talents longer term.
With the TV world seemingly her oyster, we’re looking back at her road to Love Island with some of the other gigs you probably didn’t realise she’d had...
Maya on the Loose Women panel in February 2018
When Maya was still relatively new to the TV industry, she appeared as a guest on Loose Women, where she clearly made an impression on producers.
She was then invited to return to the daytime show as a guest panellist for two episodes, joining regulars like Janet Street Porter, Andrea McLean and Coleen Nolan in 2017 and 2018.
In a weird twist of fate, she also interviewed her now-colleague, Love Island narrator Iain Stirling, during one of her appearances on the panel.
Maya with Cannonball co-hosts Radzi Chinyanganya, Frankie Bridge, Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff and Ryan Hand
Maya teamed up with Freddie Flintoff, Frankie Bridge, Radzi Chinyanganya and Ryan Hand to launch ITV’s waterpark-based game show Cannonball.
A mash-up of Total Wipeout and Ninja Warrior, it aired for eight episodes and a Christmas special in 2017.
The Scott Mills Show
Chris Stark, Scott Mills and Maya Jama on Radio 1
One of Maya’s most high-profile jobs on her CV was hosting Friday and Saturday mornings on BBC Radio 1 between 2018 and 2020.
However, when Maya first started on the station, she was brought in as a co-host for Scott Mills alongside Chris Stark on the Friday edition of his early-afternoon show.
Later graduating to her own slot, in 2020 Maya announced she’d decided not to renew her contract with the station due to conflicting work commitments.
Maya appeared in Katherine Ryan's Netflix sitcom The Duchess
As well as being a brilliant presenter and model, Maya proved she was a triple threat when she made her TV acting debut in Katherine Ryan’s sitcom The Duchess in 2020.
She played a nurse who was a love rival to Katherine’s character in one episode of the Netflix series.
Walk The Line
Maya with Walk The Line judges Craig David, Alesha Dixon, Dawn French and Gary Barlow
If you’ve long given up on talent shows – specifically ones made by Simon Cowell – then you will have missed ITV’s short-lived series Walk The Line, which Maya hosted in 2021 along with Gary Barlow, Dawn French, Alesha Dixon and Craig David as judges.
It saw a winner crowned from a group of performers each night, who then had to decide whether to move forward in the competition with a chance to win £500,000, or cash out and walk away with £10k if they didn’t fancy their chances in the next heat.
While it was a unique twist on the traditional talent show, viewing figures hovered around the 2 million mark and in August 2022, it was announced Walk The Line would not be returning for a second series.
Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer
Maya was a co-host on Peter Crouch: Save Our Summer
When the Euros were postponed in 2020 owing to a little thing called a global pandemic, the BBC suddenly found itself with a lot of hours in the schedule to fill, particularly for sports fans who had no live events to watch.
Originally commissioned as a companion series for the tournament, the broadcaster decided to go ahead with a studio-based comedy panel game show, fronted by Peter Crouch. He was joined by Alex Horne and Maya, who is a big football fan and a supporter of her hometown team Bristol Rovers as well as West Ham.
The show then returned when the Euros finally went ahead in 2021 with the new name Crouchy’s Year-Late Euros: Live.
Maya with The Circle co-presenter Alice Levine
The Circle was the new kid on the reality TV block when it ‘entered the chat’ in 2018, with the show seeing players only able to communicate with one another via a social media platform. As they all lived in individual apartments and never met IRL, it meant they could be anyone they wanted to be, with the aim of the game being to be voted the most popular come the end of the series.
Maya co-hosted the first of three eventual series that would air on Channel 4 alongside Alice Levine. Former Big Brother host Emma Willis took the reins for seasons two and three.
Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star
Maya has hosted Glow Up since 2021
Glow Up – which is like a make-up version of The Great British Bake Off – has been a huge hit for BBC Three in recent years, with Maya taking over presenting duties from previous host Stacey Dooley in 2021.
She presented two seasons of the show, but with two series of Love Island blocking out a big chunk of Maya’s diary in 2023, she will not be taking on a third run, with Leomie Anderson succeeding her as the host of Glow Up.