'Love Island's Hugo Hammond wants to show people with disabilities can be 'mainstream'

·2-min read
Hugo Hammond wants to show that having a disability doesn't mean you 'can't be mainstream'. (ITV)
Hugo Hammond wants to show that having a disability doesn't mean you 'can't be mainstream'. (ITV)

Love Island contestant Hugo Hammond has said that he wants to show viewers that having a disability doesn't mean "you can't be mainstream". 

The 24-year-old PE teacher was born with a club foot and is the programme's first Islander to have a physical disability.

He said he considers himself “not a disabled person, but just a person who has a disability” in an interview ahead of the show's launch on Monday 28 June.

Watch: Love Island's 2021 contestants unveiled

Hammond said: "If I can set a great example and show people that having a disability doesn’t mean you can’t be mainstream or it doesn’t mean that I don’t have a right to find love and things like that, then that would be great and I would love to be the torch bearer for that."

Read more: Love Island defends line-up's 'healthy BMIs'

“I’m very lucky that I had very supportive parents growing up and they kind of got all my operations done at an early age, so to be honest I don’t really remember it that much.

“I now just walk with a little bit of extra swagger is how I like to describe it, as I wobble about sometimes without my shoes on. It doesn’t define me,” Hammond added.

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He added that his fellow cast members would "probably notice" at some point as he walks "slightly on [his] tiptoes.

Hammond explained he would "happily educate" the other Islanders. 

The ITV2 show's starting line-up was revealed earlier this week with other contestants including model Shannon Singh, luxury events host Aaron Francis and civil servant Sharon Gaffka. 

With additional reporting by PA.

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