Celebrities

Nadia Essex to launch ‘Love Island for real people’ who want ‘romance not fame’

Nadia Essex is planning to launch a ' Love Island for real people' after her followers screamed out for a more "authentic" offering.

The former Celebs Go Dating boss says she wants to start her own TV show that will help regular people who are "looking for love" and not fame.

The dating expert's show has the working title Nadia's Love Mansion – and she has big plans for it.

She told the Daily Star : "I'd just have normal people with normal jobs – no influencers or models, and if you've got over 50,000 social media followers you wouldn't be allowed to apply.

"I'd also want to film the whole process, including the aftercare, so viewers can see it all for themselves. I'm brainstorming ideas at the moment."

The aftercare aspect of the show is important to Nadia as she's a big advocate for mental health.

She was left devastated by the death of her friend Mike Thalassitis, who she became close with during his stint on Celebs Go Dating.

The Love Island star took his own life in March.

Nadia, who affectionately called him 'Magic Mike' rather than the 'Muggy Mike' nickname he'd been given, said: "Being a reality star is not easy – you have to work really hard and you're public property.

"People need to know what they're getting themselves into as production companies don't tell you the bad side."


Nadia feels people signing up for shows like this are only "sold the dream" and that there needs to be a bigger responsibility on bosses "putting the truth out there".

Her TV plans come after Love Island faced backlash over this year's crop of stars following reports that more regular-looking people were going to be signed up.

After reports that a "plus size" star was going to be in the villa, fans questioned where they were after the show started.

Defending the casting, Love Island's Richard Cowles said: "We try and be as representative and diverse as possible but first and foremost it’s an entertainment show.

"It’s about people wanting to watch and them reacting and falling in love with another. Yes, we want to be as representative as possible but we also want them to be attracted to one another.

"I’m not saying everyone that’s in there is how you’re supposed to look, what we’re saying is they are a group of people we want to watch for eight weeks and we want to watch them fall in love."

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