Has Joey Essex Been On Love Island Before? A Look At How He Got So Famous

5 June 2024, 14:20 | Updated: 5 June 2024, 16:39

Joey Essex first joined The Only Way Is Essex in 2011
Joey Essex first joined The Only Way Is Essex in 2011. Picture: Getty/ITV

By Tiasha Debray

Joey Essex dropped jaws when he was revealed to be the first bombshell on Love Island 2024. But has he been on the show before? If not how on earth did he get so famous?

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It can safely be said that Joey Essex was already well on his way to becoming a household name in the UK before he shocking appeared as the bombshell in the first episode of Love Island 2024.

The man has amassed a huge resume of appearances on British television, even flying across the world to appear on Australian primetime television as himself.

His first 24 hours in the villa saw him ‘steal’ Samantha Kenny from Islander Sam Taylor who Maya Jama then had to dump from the island.

But with a career built off reality television appearances, it’s no wonder fans are wondering whether Joey Essex has been on Love Island before. If not, how did he become so famous?

Joey Essex was the first bombshell to arrive in the Love Island villa in 2024
Joey Essex was the first bombshell to arrive in the Love Island villa in 2024. Picture: Getty

Has Joey Essex been on Love Island before?

No, Joey has never appeared on Love Island before 2024. His arrival as the bombshell in episode one made history as he became the first celebrity contestant to enter the villa.

Entering into the Spanish villa, Joey was full of beans as he referred to himself as the "king of Essex" who was "ready to find [his] queen".

He had a warning for the other male contestants as he said, "This isn't my first rodeo… Boys you better watch out - I'm coming for your girls."

Joey Essex decided to couple up with Samantha Kenny
Joey Essex decided to couple up with Samantha Kenny. Picture: ITV

And he wasn’t lying, as Sam quickly found out.

His arrival in the villa has sparked huge excitement from not only the other islanders but also viewers alike, with a number of ex-islanders jumping on social media to share their thoughts.

Former winner Kai Fagan, who’s now engaged to his Love Island partner Sanam Harrinanan, called it "madness".

"Essex, First Dates, Celebs Go Dating, I’m a Celeb and now Love Island. This man has completed reality TV," wrote Kai online.

Joshua Ritchie who most recently starred in Love Island All Stars and who is also with his Love Island couple Sophie Piper wrote that the lads in the villa had "zero chance" and "may as well call it a day," again something Sam soon found out.

Joey Essex is reportedly worth around £8 million
Joey Essex is reportedly worth around £8 million. Picture: Getty

How did Joey Essex get so famous? An inside look into his career

Joey’s career began when he was cast on The Only Way Is Essex.

His part was as a secondary cast member in season two, but he made such a bang he joined the main cast in season three. He quickly became famous for his catchphrase ‘reem’ which translates to ‘good’ or ‘cool’ and he became beloved by fans for his airheaded personality at times.

The reality star became so popular so quickly that in 2011 after his first year on the show, the cast of TOWIE released a single named ‘Reem.’

All up Joey spent three years from 2011 - 2013 appearing in over 109 episodes of the reality show before Joey quit.

At the time, the Essex man claimed he was pursuing other opportunities to which he had many, however in an interview with OK! In 2022, he said: "It's just not the show that it was when I first started, I don't even recognise it anymore."

Joey Essex has had a long career on UK TV screens
Joey Essex has had a long career on UK TV screens. Picture: Getty

“It's just a bit drama-less, there's not enough going on. I'm sure that if I ever did go back to the show I would bring back a lot of entertainment - and probably a lot more viewers if I'm honest."

After leaving TOWIE, Joey was immediately snapped by to do I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and that’s when the gigs kept coming and didn’t stop.

Since 2013, Joey has appeared on the following TV shows as himself;

  • Day Break (2014)
  • The Cube (2014)
  • Viral Tap (2014)
  • Weekend (2014)
  • Tricked (2014)
  • Education Joey Essex (2014)
  • I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here NOW! (2013 - 2014)
  • Sunday Brunch (2014)
  • This Week (2015)
  • World Championship Snooker (2015)
  • 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown (2014 - 2015)
  • The Wright Stuff (2015)
  • Safe Word (2015)
  • Celebrity Benchmark (2015)
Joey Essex and Vanessa Vauer were partners on Celebrity Dancing On Ice
Joey Essex and Vanessa Vauer were partners on Celebrity Dancing On Ice. Picture: Getty
  • Big Fat Quiz Of Everything (2016)
  • The Jump (2016)
  • It’s Not Rocket Science (2016)
  • You’re Back In The Room (2016)
  • Tonight At The London Palladium (2016)
  • Britain’s Got More Talent (2015 - 2016)
  • It’s Not Me, It’s You (2016)
  • Lorraine (2016)
  • Off Their Rockers (2016)
  • 8 Out Of 10 Cats (2011 - 2016)
  • Big Fat Quiz Of Everything (2017)
  • Virtually Famous (2015 - 2017)
  • The Chris Ramsey Show (2017)
  • Innuendo Bingo (2017)
  • The Crystal Maze (2017)
  • Celebrity Chase (2017)
  • Five Star Hotel (2018)
  • Lip Sync Battle UK (2018)
  • Celebrity First Dates (2018)
  • What Would Your Kid Do (2018)
  • Through The Keyhole (2013 - 2019)
  • Hey Tracey! (2019)
  • MTV Cribs (2019)
  • I’m A Celebrity… Surviving The Jungle (2019)
  • Ant And Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (2014 - 2020)
  • Celebrity Ex On A Beach (2020)
  • Home Alone With Joel Dommet (2020)
  • This Morning (2011 - 2020)
  • Celebrity SAS: Who Dares Win (2020)
  • All Star Happy Hour With Mo Gilligan (2020)
  • The Only Way Is Essex: All Back To Essex (2020)
  • Tipping Point: Lucky Stars (2020)
  • Loose Women (2011 - 2020)
  • Celebs Go Dating (2016 - 2021)
  • Piers Morgan’s Life Stories (2021)
  • Joey Essex: Who Am I? (2021)
  • The Lateish Show With Mo Gilligan (2021)
  • CelebAbility (2017 - 2021)
  • The Wheel (2020 - 2021)
  • Celebrity Masterchef (2019 - 2021)
  • I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here Australia (2022)
  • Celebrity Help: My House Is Haunted (2022)
  • All Star Shore (2022)
  • Blankety Blank (2022)
  • Celebrity Juice (2012 - 2022)
  • Dancing On Ice (2023)
  • Shopping With Keith Lemon (2023)
  • Micheal McIntye’s Big Show (2018 - 2024)
  • The Weakest Link (2024)
  • Love Island (2024)

With a resume like that, it certainly seems like the man has been in almost every variation of reality TV this nation has to offer and suddenly it makes sense why he’s as famous as he is.

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