ITV Love Island Joey Essex shock as TOWIE legend stuns fans by entering villa as a bombshell

Joey Essex's surprise appearance on Love Island has sent fans of the ITV2 dating series into a frenzy.

The 33 year old former TOWIE star was revealed as the first Bombshell of the new summer series during the premiere show, marking a first for the long-standing reality TV programme. While previous Islanders like Adam Collard and Kady McDermott have returned to the villa for another chance at finding love on national television, Joey is the first established celebrity to join the show as a contestant.

The unexpected Love Island addition is no stranger to our screens, having appeared on numerous reality TV shows worldwide since his debut on The Only Way is Essex in 2011. Over the years, besides coining his catchphrase 'reem' on TOWIE from 2011 until 2013, Joey has had a stint in the jungle for the 13th series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, reports the Mirror.

in 2013, won the Channel 4 series The Jump, tried his luck twice on Celebs Go Dating, appeared on Celebrity Ex on the Beach, been pushed to his limits on Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Wins, cooked up a storm on Celebrity MasterChef and made a splash in the first series of Splash!

READ MORE: The Love Island contestants from Essex - and where they are now

joey in the villa in white shirt and with new buzzcut hairdo
Fans also commented on Joey's new buzzcut hairdo he was sporting when he walked into the villa -Credit:ITV

More recently, Joey - who was once engaged to fellow TOWIE star Sam Faiers - ventured Down Under for the 8th series of the Australian version of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, finishing in sixth place. In 2023, he was the runner-up of the 15th series of Dancing on Ice.

And now Joey can add Love Island to his impressive reality TV CV, with his surprise entrance into the villa being teased at the end of tonight's first episode of the new summer series. Viewers were left gobsmacked as Joey made an appearance, showcasing a fresh buzzcut.

Joey Essex has made a surprise entrance to the Love Island villa -Credit:ITV

"Joey essex coming in as a bombshell in love island was not on my 2024 bingo card #loveIsland," joked a fan as Joey graced their screens. The official Love Island Twitter account posted Joey's promotional image, announcing: "The only way is... Essex. The #LoveIsland Villa just got a bit more 'reem' as Joey Essex has arrived to find his future wife."

"I DONT KNOW WHATS MORE WEIRD, JOEY ESSEX BEING ON LOVE ISLAND OR HIM BEING 33," commented a bewildered Twitter user in response to the news, while another expressed annoyance: "Why would they bring Joey Essex? Just ruining the dynamic every year by bringing a 'celeb'."

However, some fans were thrilled by the unexpected addition, with one exclaiming: "okay joey essex walking in was a GAG and a half #loveisland."

Earlier in the year, Joey turned heads when he debuted his new look on social media, hinting at a potential move abroad. The 33 year old, related to Chloe Sims, is often found in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), fuelling speculation that he may have a residence in Dubai.

Rumour was rife in April last year that reality television star Joey planned to make Dubai his permanent residence. Gossip spread that the celebrity had plans to purchase property in this luxurious city so he could flit over whenever he pleased, possibly splitting his time between the UK and UAE.

Postings made by Joey indicated that Dubai was now considered "home", with various snaps showing him loving his life in the sunny city. However, Joey jetted back to the UK this April, interlaced with trips to various other countries in past months. This included a jaunt to the US where cousins Chloe Sims, Charlie Sims, Demi Sims, and Frankie Sims happened to be filming their own reality TV production.

During his Californian adventure earlier this year, Joey revealed a striking new look - a fresh buzz cut, which rapidly gained plenty of adoration from his Instagram followers. Time and again, Joey posted snapshots of his transformation, captioning a selfie in February: "My dreams reach to a world that doesn't exist, but I'll see you soon anyway."

His makeover sparked a surge of compliments from fans in response to posts, one follower effused: "Best I've ever seen you look." Further praises came in as one mentioned: "Looking smooth dude." The stream of admiration didn't stop there: "Love the buzz cut," followed by someone saying, "It suits [you]."

Friend Lateysha Grace also approved the change, pointing out: "Joey the short hair suits you loads! " A host of positive reactions continued to roll in, including more love for Joey's fresh haircut.