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FIRST LOOK: Love Island reveal this year's Islanders

Award-winning fan favourite Love Island returns to screens for its 9th series this January 2023, airing on ITV2 and ITVX. 

Returning to South Africa for the first of two series this year, lovestruck singletons will be guided through the twists and turns of coupling up in a jaw-dropping Villa, by brand new host Maya Jama. 

Voiced by famed comedian and narrator Iain Stirling, viewers will once again be glued to screens as more singletons desire, date and dump potential suitors from the Island. 

Who are this year's Love Islanders?

Name: Tanya Manhenga Age: 22From: Liverpool Occupation: Student (biomedical science) and influencer 

Why Love Island and why now?I’m looking for a boyfriend and I think being in a Villa with lots of different people will help me work out who it is I may want.

What gives you the ‘ick’? Guys that don’t wear socks in the house. Why are your feet flapping all around the house? Guys have huge feet too, yuck. Also, guys in the bathtub with no bubbles, such an ick, no.

Tell us something not many people know about you? I have Vitiligo, which is a skin pigmentation, you may not even notice it. It's on my lip and I have a stripe on my hair. Not many people know that but I think it’s quite cute. I don’t care about covering it up all the time, I think it’s a vibe.

Name: Kai Fagan Age: 24From: Manchester  Occupation: Science and PE teacher 

Why would you say you’re single?I’m single by choice. I’m looking for the right girl. I feel like I have quite high expectations. I don’t feel I should commit to someone unless I’m absolutely buzzing over them, because it’s not fair on them.

How would friends/family describe you?Chilled, caring, very impulsive and a good guy. I always put my friends and family first and spend a lot of time with them. 

Tell us something not many people know about you?I’m a Jamaican citizen. Because of that I played rugby 7s for Jamaica. I play semi-professional rugby now for Burnage RFC. I’ve technically got three different degrees and went to three different unis.

Name: Lana Jenkins Age: 25From: Luton Occupation: Makeup artist  

What gives you the ‘ick’? I don’t mind people texting me all the time but if you send me question marks if I’ve not replied to you in a while, you’re gone. That's a really big red flag for me! Also if I see a guy trip over, that's an instant turn off.

Do you fall in love quickly? I fall in love quickly. I tend to know quite soon if I could fall in love with that person and then, as long as everything is going well, I’ll probably tell them I love them in about a week.

What’s your claim to fame?In my work as a makeup artist I’ve worked with lots of celebrities. Also, when I was 6-years-old I used to live in Spain and I was in an episode of Benidorm as an extra.

Name: Ron HallAge: 25From: Essex Occupation: Financial advisor 

What do you think you’ll bring to the Villa?Fun and charisma. I just want to be naturally myself in there, have good times and make memories. I think people will enjoy my company. 

Tell us something not many people know about you?On meeting me, you’d never know I am blind in one eye. It was the result of a football injury when I was 8; I went in for a header and got kicked in the face. I’ve got two different coloured eyes, one blue and one green. It’s added to my character, there are so many people that are worse off than me. And if anything, losing something like that makes you realise that. It’s not hindered me in any shape or form. It’s a good conversation starter I must admit. 

What’s your ‘elevator pitch’ for why someone should want to date you?I’m the most genuine person you’ll meet. I’m genuine, caring and I’m a nice person - which you don’t find these days.

Name: Anna-May RobeyAge: 20From: Swansea Occupation: Payroll administrator

Why Love Island and why now?I want a boyfriend, I want to find someone who makes me laugh. I’ve been single for quite a while, my mother is bugging me, she's like, ‘You need to find a boyfriend.’ I’m just excited to try something new and I think going on Love Island is a good way to meet someone.

Best / worst date story? I went on a date once and I never saw him again. We went for food and shared a bottle of wine. As I was speaking to him he fell asleep! I had to clink his wine glass to wake him up.

How would friends/family describe you? Energetic. I’m always running around singing and screaming. My parents are always like, ‘Shut up!’ I work from home all day so I don’t really speak to people in person for two or three days a week, so when my father comes home, he’ll want to sit down and chill out, and I’m there chewing his ear off! I would definitely say I am a chatterbox.

Name: Will YoungAge: 23From: Buckinghamshire Occupation: Farmer 

Why Love Island and why now?Having grown up on a farm, it’s been quite difficult juggling relationships and work. Love Island will give me time away from the farm to solely go out and find love. I think I’m at the time of my life where I’m mature enough to go and find a wife. 

Tell us something not many people know about you?Every night I light a candle and meditate for 20-25 minutes. A girl I was seeing told me to meditate, I tried it and loved it. I stopped seeing her and carried on meditating! It’s a nice way to self reflect, taking a minute on my day/ week. It’s really nice and sets me up for a nice sleep.  

Who would you want to play you in a movie of your life? Sir David Attenborough. Imagine hearing his calming voice talking while he’s feeding the animals, his top off, some short shorts… he would rock it. 

Name: Tanyel RevanAge: 26From: North LondonOccupation: Hair stylist 

What do you think you’ll bring to the Villa?Energy, confidence, I’m funny, loud, feisty, charismatic. 

What’s your ‘elevator pitch’ for why someone should want to date you?I’m hard to get, confident, funny, charismatic, good looking and happy. I’m also a very loyal person, what is there not to love?

Who is your celebrity crush? Channing Tatum - I don’t like pretty boys, they give me the ‘ick’ because they always have a crap personality. Channing Tatum is handsome but not too pretty. He’s manly and he can dance. If a man can dance I’m in love with him straight away.

Name: Shaq MuhammadAge: 24From: LondonOccupation: Airport security officer 

Why Love Island and why now?I haven’t had the best luck with previous relationships. So I thought, why not be in the sun and potentially meet the love of my life? Hopefully I do come out with my future wife. The person I hope to marry one day. Hopefully she’s in the Villa. 

Do you fall in love quickly? My family and friends would say I do. I’m the type of person that wears my heart on my sleeve. If I find someone I click with, I fall very hard, very fast. Sometimes that can be a bad thing. I’m a very emotional person. It can be a blessing and a curse. 

Tell us something not many people know about you?Every time I watch Dear John I cry. That’s my favourite film. Any time I’m with someone and they say, ‘Let’s watch a romantic film’, I’m like, ‘How about Dear John, how does that sound?’

Name: Olivia HawkinsAge: 27From: BrightonOccupation: Ring girl and actress 

Why Love Island and why now?I’m 27 and I’ve never been in a relationship so I feel like now I’m really ready to settle down and hopefully find the love of my life.

What do you think you’ll bring to the Villa?I’ll bring fun, vibes, I’m a very confident, bubbly person…. maybe a little bit of drama!

What’s your claim to fame?I did a film with Jason Statham and had a nice 10-minute convo about life. I've been a ring girl for KSI, I played a waitress in James Bond with Daniel Craig and I’ve also been a body double for Michelle Keegan and Emma Watson.

Name: Haris NamaniAge: 21From: DoncasterOccupation: TV salesman 

Why Love Island and why now?I’ve never found love. I think this is the show that can help me. It’s the best opportunity for me to find the girl and find the right one. I’ve obviously not found the right one myself. 

What do you think you’ll bring to the Villa?I’m different, I’m a unique guy, the way I act; confident, not awkward, especially with the girls. I’m friendly, I’m very respectful as well. Anyone who meets me, I don’t think they have anything bad to say about me. I don’t give them that bad impression to say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to speak to him again.’ 

Do you fall in love quickly? I’ve never taken a girl home, I’m not going to say I’ve fallen in love until I’ve taken them to meet my mum and dad or sisters and brother.  

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