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

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.

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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."

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“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.

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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