Joey Essex took a ferry to the villa as Love Island desperately tried to keep his entry secret

Inside the ‘military operation’ of how the show managed to get reality TV royalty to the villa


It seems that Love Island really was desperate to have Joey Essex entering the villa as a bombshell the world’s best kept secret. And boy, did it pay off.

The first episode of Love Island 2024 kicked off with a bang, with not only a big twist in the first coupling up, but then the king of reality TV, Joey Essex himself, came swooping into the villa all casually as the first bombshell. WILD.

Love Island took “every precaution” to keep it under wraps that he was the first bombshell entering the villa this year, to make sure his entry hit as hard as it did, and got us in the mood for a summer full of drama. The rest of the Islanders flew to Mallorca to enter the villa, but Joey was transported by ferry, to avoid him being snapped at the airport and raising any suspicion.

Joey Essex on Love Island 2024

via ITV

Ahead of his trip, Joey told The Sun: “I feel like Joey Bond, ‘the names Essex, Joey Essex’. It felt like a military operation, not even the journey itself but the process of even getting through the application process and to this point. I got on the plane to Ibiza, I made sure I still wore my mask when I went out for dinner, and then we got the boat over to Majorca to a villa hidden in the mountains in the middle of nowhere.”

Joey – who is best known for being on The Only Way Is Essex since 2011 – is the first ever celebrity bombshell Love Island has signed up. He added: “I just want someone to like me for me and now from what they see on TV. This is exactly why I’m going into the villa because you’re disconnected from the rest of the world and can focus on what actually matters on a far deeper level.

“I’m extremely single right now, so I’m praying that I’m going to walk out of the villa hand in hand with the love of my life, that’s my main aim and all I care about. It’s difficult for me to meet girls on the outside as they judge me based on a persona so I think this experience will allow for people to see the real me.”

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