Love Island’s Jessica Hayes opens up about how becoming a mother “saved her” and how the series has lost its “realness”.

Chatting to hosts Bobby Norris and Stephen Leng on the showbiz gossip programme Access All Areas, the reality star spoke candidly about how the newer series of Love Island have become less genuine: “It’s so different now. It isn’t the same anymore. There’s been so many series. I just feel like it doesn’t have that realness anymore. I feel like something needs to change because it’s the same every year. Now they go in and they go “I’m going to get that PLT deal, I’m going to get this and that”. It’s more like a business plan or game plan really. You know you’re going to get the followers. That’s kind of taking away the whole innocence of it, the realness. It’s just not the same anymore.”

The series one winner went on to reflect on the person she was when she appeared on the show in 2015: “I look back and I think who is that 22-year-old girl? I don’t even recognise her, her personality, who she was. I’m a mum now and I’ve changed so much. I wish I had the same head on me that I do now then. I wish I could be a mentor to her. In the early days, the support wasn’t that good. There was no guidance. 

She continued: “I think motherhood saved me. I feel like I got to a point after the show where I didn’t know where I was going, I felt very lost. I hit a rock bottom low point where it all started to slow down, and it had been a few years. For me, it came at the right time, and it saved me from going down the wrong path. It makes you look at yourself differently. It’s helped me so much. When you’re a mum those things don’t matter.”  

Later in the interview, Jessica spoke about the pressure she felt after Love Island to have cosmetic procedures done: “I was reading the papers and the magazines and people were saying “she’s really big”. I started messing around with the way I looked. I wish I could say to her “you don’t need to change anything about yourself. You’re trying to keep up appearances here to impress other people that don’t matter. Leave yourself alone and be you.””

Listen to the full episode, also featuring Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace and Martin Akinola here.