Zara McDermott says she battles 'inner her' to be confident and outspoken on screen

·3-min read
Zara McDermott is the host of Love In The Flesh (BBC)
Zara McDermott is the host of Love In The Flesh (BBC)

Love In The Flesh host Zara McDermott admits she is not the 'confident, outspoken' person she comes across as on screen and is always battling the 'inner her' who is 'quite an introvert'.

The former Love Island contestant, who appeared on the show's fourth series at the age of 21, said she's trying to 'change herself for the better' and be more confident and told Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time she thought people might be surprised to hear what she is really like.

She is currently presenting BBC Three show Love In The Flesh, where couples in online relationships meet face-to-face for the first time.

"I'm not the biggest talker," she told Thornton. "So it's actually interesting when you see me in the work environment when I'm presenting, when I'm doing Love In The Flesh, I look like the most confident girl, and the most outspoken person who can just do anything.

"But actually, all of the time I'm battling with this inner actual me, who's actually not the loudest person, I'm not an extrovert, quite an introvert, and I am all of those things."

WATCH: Zara McDermott on overcoming reality TV stereotypes, educating young people, and renovating her first home

Her boyfriend, Made In Chelsea's Sam Thompson, often has to nudge her into speaking, and McDermott said she gets 'overwhelmed' in a group of people.

She said: "I love reality TV, I always have. But I never thought I was the kind of person who would be able to go on it because I'm not the loudest person in the room.

"I'm not the most outspoken person and maybe you'd be surprised at that about me. I'm not very good in big groups of people. I'm quite withdrawn and shy."

Listen to the full episode to hear Zara talk all things 'Love in the Flesh', her ambitions to tackle more hard-hitting subjects in her documentaries, and about her house renovations

The 25-year-old told Thornton she is trying to 'change for the better', be more confident and be able to say no to things if she doesn't 'feel comfortable'.

She said her life on social media was not how she is all the time but was 'just a part of me that I'm trying to work on'. She also told Thornton she believed that people were starting to use TV and social media less as an escape or in terms of aesthetics, and more for 'relatable situations' and education.

Zara McDermott met the Duchess of Cornwall at a Clarence House event in January, 2022 (Getty)
Zara McDermott met the Duchess of Cornwall at a Clarence House event in January, 2022 (Getty)

McDermott has made two BBC documentaries, one on revenge porn and one on rape culture, and is currently working on a third about disordered eating.

Read more: Zara McDermott won't be 'kept in a box' after 'Love Island'

She said: "I believe that we're moving out of an age where people want to look at people's idyllic lives on social media and on the TV. People actually want to see genuine, real relatable situations.

"And rather than using TV as a means of escape, they're starting to use TV as a means to educate. I think people are becoming a lot more receptive to things like that.

Love Island contestant Zara McDermot in 2018 (PA Wire)
Love Island contestant Zara McDermot in 2018 (PA Wire)

"It's so weird how social media as well changes, it was all about how you look and aesthetics and sometimes it still is.

"But I think people are becoming so much more open to using social media to learn and to understand things. And I think that's brilliant, because it means that there's so many more people open to listening."

WATCH: Zara McDermott on the challenges of renovating her first home with boyfriend Sam Thompson

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