Married at First Sight's Jay Howard overwhelmed by response after show finished

Jay Howard was born with a limb difference, with part of her left arm missing. Credit: ITV News

A woman who rose to fame as one of the contestants on hit TV show Married at First Sight says she now hopes to use her platform to raise awareness of limb difference.

Jay Howard, from Accrington, says she was worried about the reaction she would get on social media after being born with part of her arm missing.

But the bubbly red-head, who married a complete stranger on the Channel 4 show, says she has been overwhelmed by the positive response to her limb difference, and wants to use her platform now to raise awareness of the condition.

Speaking to ITV's Caroline Whitmore at the shop near her home where she bought the wedding dress, the 32-year-old said: "I was expecting a lot of stick, however, I've had the complete opposite.

"I feel blessed with the amount of love and support that everybody has shown.

"They're just really nice to me."

Jay Howard spoke to ITV's Caroline Whitmore at the wedding dress shop where she bought her wedding dress for the TV show Credit: Caroline Whitmore

The programme follows a number of couples, who are paired up with complete strangers by a team of relationship experts.

They get married, only meeting their future spouse for the first time as they walk down the aisle.

Jay married Luke Worley and, while they appeared to have an instant connection, unfortunately the promising relationship did not last.

"We're on good terms." Jay tells ITV News, "it's just really sad that it didn't work out."

Jay Howard as a baby with her mum Credit: Family photo

Jay was born with a limb difference, with part of her left arm missing.

"My mum and dad didn't have a clue of the way that I was before my mum gave birth to me," Jay says.

"They were very shocked. And 32-years ago, it was kind of unheard of. Not that there weren't any of us out there.

"It was just not publicised enough."

Jay Howard said growing up with part of her left arm missing was 'difficult' at times Credit: Family photo

Jay says it was difficult growing up as a child.

"My mum brought me up," she said. "She took my swimming lessons, but she's like, you can try to do it, do your best, and then at least you tried.

"So that's the mentality that I've been brought up with."

Jay Howard married stranger Luke Worley on the TV show 'Married at First Sight' Credit: MAFS, Channel 4

She says she was worried her limb difference would be a problem for her new husband.

"It's not something that you see every day and I understand that, and it is a shock," she said.

"I get people that look and then they'll look a second time. Well, that didn't happen with Luke. And he smiled at me."

Despite getting off to a strong start, thing started to go wrong for Jay and Luke towards the end of the experiment.

A physical fight with co-star Jordan Gayle resulted in the pair being asked to leave the show.

"When Luke and Jordan kicked off on the show, that got blown out of proportion.

"He (Luke) apologised as soon as it happened."

Luke Worley and wife Jay Howard Credit: 'Married at First Sight', Channel 4

Jay says when she bought the wedding dress for the TV show, she did not tell the Lancashire shop that she was marrying a stranger.

"I originally came here," she says, "and at the time I had to lie, I couldn't tell them that I was marrying a stranger and going on the telly!"

Now that the show is over, Jay says she wants to use her new-found fame for good.

"I've never seen myself as an inspirational person, but apparently I've helped a lot of people.

"And I'm back here, at the shop in Lancashire where I chose my wedding dress to choose a dress for an event. 

"I've been invited, which I feel honoured about, to the Inclusive Awards which champions diversity and inclusivity.

"They've asked me to present an award and also I'll be performing with the actress Victoria Eckanoye."

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