Love Island stars’ unusual jobs from before they were famous, from stripper to circus performer

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Did you know that a bomb disposal expert, a policeman and an aircraft engineer have all checked into the Love Island villa?

While many of the show's young contestants have yet to secure a career and have nothing to lose by going on the show, others are established professionals leaving behind highly-skilled jobs.

We all remember Dr Alex George from season 4, who works as an A&E doctor at a London hospital and left his career briefly to appear on the show, but who else has a surprising backstory?

Let's delve a little deeper into some of the former contestants' lives to find out…

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Camilla Thurlow

Camilla Thurlow shared a snap of herself disposing bombs
(Image: Camilla Thurlow/instagram)

Topping our list of incredibly interesting jobs you wouldn't expect is Camilla, who was a bomb disposal expert before she appeared on the reality show.

Camilla worked abroad, helping dispose of landmines and explosives in countries with wars on, and wrote a book about how the job left her feeling socially isolated before she joined the villa.

Camilla Thurlow in a Love Island pose
(Image: ITV)

"I came back from Afghanistan and I was really struggling with social dislocation," she told Andi Peters on the Lorraine show.

"I was struggling to process the events that I'd seen in the years preceding, and I was struggling to reconnect with my friends and family."

But she found the reality show helped in some way in her journey to overcome her feelings of isolation. "I think if you’re struggling with socialising, Love Island does present quite a unique immersive socialising experience," she said.

Anna Vakili

Love Island's Anna Vakili called for more PPE equipment in pharmacies
(Image: annavakili_/Instagram)

Anna left her pharmacy job to go on the fifth season of Love Island, but re-registered as a pharmacist again in April 2020 to help support pharmacies during the early days of the Covid-19 crisis.

In a post on Instagram she praised the work of pharmacists across the country. “Since I’ve been back I’ve just been amazed by the heroic work that pharmacy staff are doing all across the UK during this outbreak," she said.

"They’re putting themselves at risk by physically seeing patients and dispensing and delivering millions of prescriptions to the most vulnerable people.”

Anna Vakili also works as a pharmacist
(Image: ITV)

Since leaving the villa, other than returning to pharmacy to help with the pandemic, Anna's mainly been modelling for brands on Instagram.

Joe Garratt

Sandwich lover Joe Garratt
(Image: Instagram)

By the age of 22 when Joe appeared on season 5 of Love Island, he had asserted himself as a professional sandwich maker and semi-professional rugby player.

He gave both up to appear on the show through, and since leaving has taken modelling work on Instagram, where he promotes luxury brands.

Joe Garratt in a Love Island pose
(Image: ITV)

That said, Joe did tell The Sun he believed in five years he would probably still be making sandwiches.

He said his favourite type is chicken, bacon and spinach. "This is like a Joe special," he explained.

"No one understands it but I promise you, it is so good. A bit of mayonnaise, salt, and pepper, a tiny bit of sugar. Yeah, it's proper nice."

Mike Boateng

Mike Boateng in the police
(Image: Instagram/Mike Boateng)

Mike from the most recent series of Love Island left a job in the police force to search for love in the villa.

Mike didn't return to his role after he left the South African villa in 2019. Last year, he alleged racism within the Greater Manchester Police force on social media.

Mike Boateng in a promotional pic from the show

"They turned my name into a joke and play games," he said of his time in the force.

"The police is racist. I'll name names: GMP, sergeant *****, sergeant ***********, PC *********, PC *************."

In a statement, the Greater Manchester Police responded saying: ""There is absolutely no place for racism within GMP and we will investigate any reports of racist behaviour both internally and externally.

"We accept that we will not always get things right, but we strive to continuously learn and improve and will tackle bias, racism or discrimination wherever we find it."

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Yewande Biala

Yewande Biala has always been career-focussed

Yewande was a cancer scientist before she appeared on Love Island in 2019, and she returned to her profession soon after the show.

Yewande focuses on trying to find cures for cancer, but fancied joining Love Island to give her career a temporary switch up.

She explained exclusively to The Mirror: "I went to uni when I was 16 and I’ve been in my industry ever since.

Yewande was trying to find a cure for cancer before Love Island
(Image: ITV)

"My job will still be there. I definitely want to go back – I’ve been in college for five years so it would be such a waste to throw that all away."

Jack Fincham

Jack with his pens on This Morning
(Image: ITV)

Jack was a pen salesman before he went on to win series four of the show with Dani Dyer, but revealed that he'd left his job when the reality show wrapped.

"Pens will always have a special place in my heart but I haven't been back since, my desk is empty," he told fans.

Jack got back into pens but from a designer's standpoint recently. He released his own ballpoint pen which he'd created and designed himself.

Jack in a Love Island promo still
(Image: ITV)

A description on Jack's website reads: "“Get the lastest ‘3 in 1’ Pen which is both sleek and stylish. With a touch screen stylus, LED light and a ballpoint pen… by Fincham London – the pen collection designed and created by Jack Fincham.”

Amy Hart

Amy Hart poses in her BA uniform
(Image: @amyhart1707 /Twitter)

2019's Amy Hart, who briefly dated dancer Curtis Pritchard when she was in the villa, was an air hostess before she took to reality TV.

She'd been working for British Airways for eight years before she went on the show and posted an emotional goodbye when she left hosting behind. "Sometimes goodbye, though it hurts, in your heart is the only way to make way for destiny," she wrote.

"…..Doors to manual and cross-check for the very. Last. Time."

Amy was on the show in 2019
(Image: ITV)

It looks like Amy has swerved a return to cabin crew life since she left the show: like so many of her fellow contestants, she can be found harvesting the dollar on Instagram, modelling products for various brands.

Megan Barton Hanson

Megan Barton-Hanson since Love Island
(Image: Instagram/Megan Barton-Hanson)

Season 4's Megan was a stripper before she took to the villa for season 4. Talking to her fans on social media, she had described how she felt nervous when she first started performing, but she learned from the other girls.

"My first ever strip was so daunting," she said.

"When I first went in I got a girl to show me what to do so I got a lap dance and then I did it back to her and copied and that was my first experience giving a lap dance."

Megan in a promotional pic from the show

Since leaving the show Megan has remained in the industry to some extent. She writes a progressive column about sex and relationships for Vice, and hosts the podcast You Come First, which helps people understand the need to put themselves first in every aspect of life.

Callum Macleod

Callum posing before he went on Love Island
(Image: ITV)

Also appearing in 2019 was aircraft engineer Callum from Wales, who quit his job to seek love on the show. He reckoned his tan made him hotter, bringing him up to a seven out of ten in "one hour."

It isn't clear whether Callum returned to his profession when the show ended, although speaking on This Morning, he made it clear he wanted to when he left the villa.

Love Island 2019 star Callum Macleod
(Image: ITV)

"I've got my trade, I've got my experience," he said. "Even if I have to go elsewhere or to another company … My boss was a huge fan of the show. He was the one who convinced me to go on it …. so there's options there."

For the meantime, it seems he's supplementing his income with work as an influencer on Instagram, promoting various brands.

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Rachel Fenton

Second season Love Island star Rachel Fenton was working as an orthopaedic nurse before she went into the villa, and returned to her work after she left.

Rachel Fenton at work
(Image: Instagram)

She has been working throughout the pandemic as an NHS nurse on the front line, documenting her experiences online. When she received her vaccine, she posted a thank you note on Instagram.

It read: "The beginning of the end. thank you to all the incredible doctors and scientists for creating this vaccine and helping us become one step further to beating this virus."

Rachel Fenton in her Love Island promo shot

She also caught the virus twice and shared a post explaining how she thinks it's "important" people know reinfection is happening.