You could argue that Maura Higgins didn’t just put the groove back into the 2019 series of Love Island, she straddled it while wielding a defibrillator and administering mouth-to-mouth.
Two weeks into the run, Twitter was collectively bemoaning the lacklustre affair – and then the 28-year-old grid girl from Ballymahon strutted in.
From that moment, viewers knew they were in for fun.
Since her first appearance, Maura’s presence has divided opinion.
The human embodiment of Marmite, she was “too loud”, “too brash” and “too predatory”, but she was also “f**king hilarious” and – most importantly – she was wonderfully unpredictable. Reality TV loves that nearly as much as it craves “a journey”.
What a journey Maura has been on – and her Instagram stats reflect that.
Read more here: ‘Island has made me a different woman’, says Maura
Since walking through the doors of the villa, her account has leapt from around 20,000 followers to 1.4 million.
That’s quite the trajec- tory, and it’s going to be her bread and butter.
Last year’s winner, Dani Dyer, gets £15,000 (€16,450) per sponsored Instagram post because of the 3.5 million followers she has attracted thanks to Love Island.
Maura’s opportunities to coin it in now the show is over don’t end there. Rumour has it she’s being headhunted by producers, with talk of screen tests for her own mid-morning talk show on ITV.
That aside, what looks likely is her inclusion in the 2019 I’m A Celebrity… line-up.
As has become customary, she might get a job as a roving reporter on This Morning and/or Dancing On Ice.
Considering Love Island is to get two series next year, perhaps she’s being lined up to be an intrinsic part of the winter version of the show due to air in January.
One thing is certain: she will get a heroine’s welcome on her return to Longford after putting Ballymahon on the map.
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