Love Island 2024 confirms Joey Essex as first celebrity Islander

Love Island spoilers follow.

Love Island has revealed its first bombshell for the 2024 series, with former The Only Way is Essex star Joey Essex making a surprise entry into the villa.

The ITV reality show returned on Monday (June 3) with its 11th series, with host Maya Jama welcoming 12 singletons into the villa as they seek love.

After the first pairings were confirmed, the host gathered the Islanders around the firepit and told them to “expect the unexpected”.

She was certainly true to her word, with Joey being revealed as the “first celebrity contestant”.

a man wearing shorts

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Joey described himself as "the King of Essex" who wants to find his "Queen".

The social media channels for the show also shared the news, with a post on X/Twitter reading: “The only way is… Essex. The #LoveIsland Villa just got a bit more ‘reem’ as Joey Essex has arrived to find his future wife.”

The surprise was commented upon by fans of the show, with one writing: “Wtf. Had to double check that was actually him then.” Another fan also expressed their surprise, writing: “No way! I was gobsmacked.”

The first episode saw a change in the format from past years, with the decision of the couplings being taken out of the viewers’ hands. This time, the pairings were decided by the Islanders themselves, though they didn’t know it at the time.

patsy, mimii, harriet, nicole, love island season 11, day 1

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The group were split into the teams of Girls and Boys, with each side having to rank who they thought was ideal relationship material. After the exercise, Maya announced that the order of the rankings would determine who they were paired with.

After the task, the couples were revealed to be Mimii & Munveer, Nicole & Sean, Jess & Ronnie, Patsy & Ayo, Samantha & Sam and Harriett & Ciaran.

Love Island airs on ITV2 and streams on ITVX.

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