Love Island 2022 stars famous links – Jack Grealish, Patsy Palmer, A-list exes

It’s no surprise that the Love Island class of 2022 are studded with various famous connections.

The iconic ITV2 dating show is known for making stars, from Molly Mae Hague to Maura Higgins, who both landed various jobs after the show along with brand sponsorships.

But plenty of contestants have been famous even before their villa stint, including EastEnders legend Danny Dyer’s daughter Dani.

This year is no difference, with footie ace Michael Owen’s daughter Gemma heading into the Majorcan paradise. She’s far from the only one with some famous connections, however – and Daily Star takes a look into the star-studded cast.

Luca Bish’s famous exes

Despite the show regularly catapulting stars to fame, it seems fishmonger Luca Bish is well used to the spotlight, as he used to date Strictly Come Dancing ’s Saffron Barker.

They went out for a “few months”, and were even spotted in a cosy snap together cuddled up in bed as they told fans "good night" in an old snap.

Luca said the pair met through friends after attending the same school in Brighton, explaining: “Saffron was just coming out of a relationship and then that was it, we hit the ground running a bit. We’re still really good mates!"

Speaking to Daily Star, Luca dished on how the couple were mobbed by fans armed with cameras while enjoying a dinner date at Pizza Express.

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“I think we were in Pizza Express once, me and Saffron, and we had kids running up to the window taking pictures of me stuffing my face with dough-balls!" he said.

But he wasn't put off an appearance on the show, as Luca went on: "I’ve always been really private, even with Saffron, even with my ex – who had like 300,000 followers – I’ve always kept mine really private.

"So followers and stuff, they really don’t mean a thing to me. If I was knocked out in a day and end up back doing fish, I was happy then and I’ll be happy again I’m sure."

Saffron isn’t Luca’s only famous ex, as he used to date Instagram influencer and tattoo artist Sophie Floyd, who boasts 353,000 followers on the platform.

Patsy Palmer friendship

Luca’s exes aren’t the only famous connection he boasts in the villa, as it turns out that EastEnders star Patsy Palmer is actually a close family friend.

She wished him luck going into the show, writing: “Omg @lucabish all grown up and going on @loveisland. We cannot wait to watch you."

She added: "You will smash it so beautiful, kind & funny. Yay from your Malibu crew!"

Luca told Daily Star of their friendship: “She’s a very close family friend – I didn’t actually know she said anything because they keep everything away from you here. So I’m glad she’s got my back!

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"My mum’s been very close to her, and it ended up with her and [husband] Richard [Merkell] and my dad being very close. They just became really close family friends. When they were in England we spent most weekends with each other."

Patsy now lives in Malibu with hubby Richard and their children Fenton, Emilia and Bertie, leaving her eldest son Charley behind in the UK.

Luca went on: "Being around Patsy Palmer, and my mum’s got a few mates in the public eye, Saffron, you kind of get used to the scenarios that are happening.”

Footballer dad

Gemma Owen has been keeping tight lipped about her famous footballer dad Michael Owen – with fans convinced she’s simply desperate to give him a cheeky name drop.

Speaking to Daily Star about the advice she received from her footie ace dad, Gemma explained: “My dad actually said to me ‘I’m not going to tell you what you can and can’t do. It’s up to you. You can make your own decisions.’

"But I’m very close to my family so I wouldn’t do anything that would purposefully disrespect them or embarrass them."

She thinks Michael – who has never watched Love Island before – will “definitely” be watching her series.

Michael, of course, made his name as a striker for teams including Liverpool FC, Manchester United and Real Madrid before retiring from the sport in 2013.

He now works as a sports pundit and commentator, along with breeding racehorses.

Amber’s famous ex

Amber Beckford also dished that she has a very famous ex – but his identity has been kept a mystery so far.

The 24-year-old has been single for a year and a half, but previously dated “someone famous”.

Speaking to press ahead of heading into the series, the nanny explained: “Have I dated anyone famous? Yes, but I’m going to keep that to myself for the moment. Obviously that relationship didn’t work out, as I’m going on Love Island.

“It didn’t end because I’d cheated or been cheated on though, to the best of my knowledge I’ve never been cheated on, though I suppose you never really know.”

She added: “I think I will talk about my ex in the villa if people ask. I’m definitely an open person, so I’d be happy to.

“But right now, my journey is going on Love Island and finding new love, so I don’t want to be talking too much about my exes.”

Amber’s social media includes snaps of her being flown in a helicopter, riding in a Lamborghini and strutting into Harrods.

World Cup star father

Gemma isn’t the only Love Island contestant boasting a sports star dad, as Liam Llewellyn also has a famous father.

Liam’s dad had a successful career as a rugby union player, and even scored tries for Wales at the World Cup.

David ‘Dai’ Llewellyn started out playing for Tredegar’s Ironsides before being scouted for Ebbw Vale when he was younger, and had the opportunity to make it big in New Zealand.

He told WalesOnline: “I had six months out there where I couldn’t really put a foot wrong.

“They took to me, I took to them and I really enjoyed it. They wanted me to stay. They were well impressed with my fitness and my attitude.”

David added: “They saw the potential of setting me up to become an All Black.”

But instead, he returned to the UK and was drafted into the Wales squad, even scoring a try in the country’s winning game against Japan in the 1999 World Cup.

Now retired, David now works to train up professional athletes.

Jack Grealish flirting

New bombshell Ekin-Su Cülcüloglu caught the attention of none other than Manchester City midfielder Jack Grealish with her stunning Instagram snaps.

The 26-year-old, who is worth £100million, was reportedly seen liking Ekin-Su’s pictures on the social media site, with a pal telling The Sun: “Ekin is very discreet and has had lots of famous admirers before but she was quite happy to see Jack liking her pictures.

“He’s a very good-looking guy.”

Jack has a spate of flirtations with Love Island stars, including Lillie Haynes and Natalie Zoppa, along with heading on dates with show winner Amber Gill.

Afia’s link to previous star

Love Island series three star Montana Brown had a plenty successful career after the villa, which included launching her own swimwear brand, Swim Society.

And it turns out 2022 star Afia Tonkmor actually models for the brand, according to Heatworld.

Various snaps on Afia’s Instagram Stories show her rocking the brand, including a stunning polaroid which sees her in a teeny cream two-piece, with her washboard abs on full display.

But Heatworld predicted trouble for the stars if Montana repeats her old tricks, after she snuck swimwear from her brand into her pal Arabella Chi’s Love Island suitcase – breaking show rules.

In 2019, the star admitted on the Under the Duvet podcast: “Someone I know is going into Love Island and I’ve just shoved loads of Swim Society in there.”

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