Joey Essex stuns ITV Love Island fans as TOWIE veteran walks into villa as a bombshell


ITV2's Love Island fans have been left buzzing with excitement following the unexpected appearance of Joey Essex on the show.

The 33 year old former TOWIE star was revealed as the first Bombshell of the new summer series during the premiere episode, 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 shot at finding love on national television, Joey is the first well-known celebrity to join the show as a contestant.

This surprise addition to Love Island is no stranger to our screens, having featured 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!

joey in the villa  with new buzzut hairdo and white shirt
Joey also sported a new buzzcut hairdo when he walked into the Love Island villa -Credit:ITV

In 2013, he 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!

More recently, Joey - who was once engaged to fellow TOWIE star Sam Faiers - took on the Australian jungle in the 8th series of "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! " down under, securing a respectable sixth place. Fast forward to 2023, and he skated his way to becoming the runner-up in the 15th series of " Dancing on Ice."

Now, Joey's adding another notch to his reality TV belt with a bombshell entrance into the Love Island villa, as teased at the end of tonight's premiere of the new summer series. Viewers were left stunned as Joey appeared, sporting a sharp buzzcut.

Fans took to Twitter to express their surprise and amusement, with one quipping: "Joey essex coming in as a bombshell in love island was not on my 2024 bingo card #loveIsland," as Joey popped up on their screens. The official Love Island Twitter account stirred excitement by posting Joey's promotional image, captioning it: "The only way is... Essex. The #LoveIsland Villa just got a bit more 'reem' as Joey Essex has arrived to find his future wife."

Twitter was abuzz with reactions, including a user who found the situation bizarre: "I DONT KNOW WHATS MORE WEIRD, JOEY ESSEX BEING ON LOVE ISLAND OR HIM BEING 33," while another voiced their disapproval: "Why would they bring Joey Essex? Just ruining the dynamic every year by bringing a 'celeb'." Yet, some fans welcomed the twist, with one enthusiastically sharing: "okay joey essex walking in was a GAG and a half #loveisland."

Earlier this year, Joey likely caused a few double takes when he unveiled his makeover on Instagram, dropping clues about a potential move overseas. The 33 year old, who happens to be related to Chloe Sims, is regularly spotted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), stoking rumours of a possible residence in glitzy Dubai. Buzz that reality TV star Joey was eyeing up Dubai as a future full-time home started circulating last April. Apparently, he was keen to secure a plush apartment in the affluent city, allowing him the freedom to jet between the UK and UAE at will.

Often his Instagram feed hinted at Dubai being more than just a vacation spot it was starting to feel like "home", with plenty of snaps revealing his time in the idyllic locale. However, this past April we saw Joey return to Blighty, after quite a bit of globe-trotting over preceding months. This includes a spell in the US where his relatives Chloe Sims, Charlie Sims, Demi Sims, and Frankie Sims were filming their reality series.

During an earlier Californian adventure, Joey proudly flaunted a daring new style a sleek buzz cut, which instantly won approval from his Insta followers. He often posted snapshots of his reimagined image, even penning an intriguing caption for a February selfie: "My dreams reach to a world that doesn't exist, but I'll see you soon anyway."

Joey's new look was widely complimented amongst his fanbase, with one admirer enthusiastically stating: "Best I've ever seen you look." The flattery didn't stop there, as another pitched in, chiming: "Looking smooth dude." Positive feedback engulfed the comment section, filled with comments such as "Love the buzz cut," and another adding, "It suits [you]."

Lateysha Grace, a pal of Joeys, also approved the fresh haircut, declaring: "Joey the short hair suits you loads! " More and more admiration for the star's revamped do was visible as fans kept showing their love.