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‘Is it Love Island or Gemma Owen Island?’: Susanna Reid calls out show’s focus on footballer’s daughter

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Susanna Reid joked about Love Island’s apparent focus on Gemma Owen during Good Morning Britain on Monday (13 June).

The show has received some criticism for making Gemma, daughter of former England footballer Michael Owen, the centre of each episode.

While discussing Sunday’s introduction of Gemma’s ex-boyfriend Jacques O’Neill to the show, Reid quipped: “Is it Love Island or Gemma Owen Island?”

She added: “She’s at the heart of every story so far.”

Gemma was initially coupled up with Liam Llewellyn before being stolen in the first recoupling by Davide Sanclimenti and later swapped again after being chosen by fishmonger Luca Bish in the second recoupling.

The 19-year-old has not yet revealed who her famous father is, however, ITV producers informed Liam of the celebrity link ahead of his appearance on the Love Island companion show Aftersun on Sunday (12 June).

Susanna Reid (left), Gemma Owen (ITV)
Susanna Reid (left), Gemma Owen (ITV)

Liam, who left the Island early after saying he hadn’t “been himself” couldn’t hide his surprise at the news, despite Gemma telling him her surname on the show.

“I can’t believe who that actually was,” he said. “That’s mad. I’m a Newcastle United fan. I actually have one of his tops when he came to the club.”

Liam continued: “That first night, we were chatting about football and her family. I was so close. I can’t believe I didn’t quite work it out.”

In her review of Sunday’s episode, Isobel Lewis wrote for The Independent: “It’s Gemma’s world – the other islanders are just living in it.”

Gemma Owen and Michael Owen in 2005 (Getty Images)
Gemma Owen and Michael Owen in 2005 (Getty Images)

Gemma is the youngest contestant to join the island this year and is an international dressage rider for Great Britain who competed in the 2021 European Championships.

Ahead of her appearance, Gemma told the Daily Mail that her famous father wasn’t exactly “buzzing” about her joining the show. However, he told her: “I’m not going to tell you what to do.”

“He’s very supportive in whatever I decide to do. He didn’t have a massive tantrum or anything like that. He was pretty chilled, he trusts me not to do anything to embarrass him. He took it quite well,” she added.

Love Island continues tonight at 9pm on ITV2.

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