Amber Gill: ‘Love Island’s made it hard to date’

When Love Island queen Amber Gill wanted to chat about the new series, her novel and romance, Jordan Paramor was here for it…

Amber Gill Love Island Twitter

by Jordan Paramor |
Updated on

Amber Gill has just moved into a swanky new apartment in London, her beloved Pomeranian Sushi is set to be flown over from Dubai any day to join her, and she’s releasing her debut novel later this month. “Things are really good at the moment. Busy, but a lot of fun,” she smiles.

We all fell in love with Amber when she won Love Island alongside Greg O’Shea back in 2019, and the Newcastle-born star is undoubtedly one of the show’s success stories with 2.6million followers on Insta, 1.3m on TikTok and 385k on Twitter, where she delights fans by live-tweeting the show.

The 24 year old couldn’t be easier to talk to and 100 per cent lives up to her outspoken reputation. We’ve got a lot we want to chat about, and she’s happy to answer anything we throw at her, hence this interview ended up being twice as long as expected (we’re not complaining).

Read on to find out whether she and Greg are still in touch, which 2022 contestant is her favourite, and which of this year's boys she would have coupled up with: spoiler alert, it's none of them...

You're releasing your first novel, UntilI I Met You, with Mills & Boon. How did that come about?

Initially, Mills & Boon wanted to diversify their audience, authors and characters in their books, so they contacted me about a competition they wanted to run where people from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds could win a year’s publishing contract. Then, they got to know me and were like, "Actually, you're way more interested in this than we initially thought!" I loved studying English at school and I've always enjoyed writing, so they asked if I would be interested in doing my own book. They said they would set me up with a co-writer, rather than throwing me in at the deep end

How was the writing process?

It was very long. Obviously, I’ve never written a book before, so it was really nice having a co-writer, Nadine. She’s published six books with Mills & Boon and I really like the way she writes. We had brainstorms and then sent stuff to each other and tweaked it. It was very collaborative.

The competition you fronted was a major deal, wasn’t it?

It was a totally big thing. I always try to use my voice to help others, and it gave people who have probably struggled to get published an opportunity. I love using my platform. I’m also an ambassador for [suicide prevention charity] CALM and doing things like that makes me feel like I’ve got a purpose other than posting about my life, you know?

What are your favourite books?

I love Cecelia Ahern and romance books in general. I also like to dive into a bit of self-help. I really like a book called Conversations With God that my auntie told me about. People always talk about The Secret, but I think that book is more powerful.

Do you think you’ll do more books in the future?

I don't know. I want to see what people think of this one first. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I’m terrible for not looking back at my achievements and thinking, “Oh, wow, you did that.” I move on quickly to the next thing, so I’m trying to stop doing that.

We love your hilarious tweets while you watch Love Island. How is this series different from other years?

I don’t think it’s that different, but I feel like for the past two seasons, it’s been, sort of... not as entertaining? Like, I wasn’t as fully invested. I watched them, because I got invited on different shows to talk about them. But I’m fully invested with this series.

What did you think about the way the public got to vote for the couples at the beginning of the show?

It backfired, and I think Dami and Indiyah would have got together a lot sooner if they hadn’t done it. I hope they don’t do it again.

Who are your favourites this year?

I love Gemma Owen. She’s very dry like me, and I think a lot of people don’t get that and think she’s rude. Even my mam said she reminds her of me. Nothing excites her and she is very straight- talking. Ekin-Su has been great for the drama, and Indiyah is an absolute sweetheart. I get such good vibes from her. I love the fact Davide is a devil and has stirred things up.

Gemma Owen
Gemma Owen ©ITV ©©ITV

You live tweet during the show – does that make it hard to concentrate?

I do feel like I’m missing bits, but if I don’t tweet, I get harassed on Twitter. I went out one Sunday night and people were like, “Where are you? How dare you!” I’ve also had people saying, “It’s been three years since you were on the show, move on!” But as if I’m not going to watch the show everyone else is watching.

Do you find social media pressurised?

I think there is a lot of pressure, but I don’t feel it, because I’ve always been sort of messy and myself.

What’s your favourite platform?

I’m kind of over Insta. I do like it, but they’re making it hard for people to just enjoy it. Like, you have to post at a certain time and there’s an algorithm. Sorry, but I can’t get on board with that. I don’t want to post when they tell me to. I much prefer TikTok. My videos go viral so easily and followers actually see your stuff. Instagram has become a bit of a negative, pressurised space and ’m not here for that at all. It feels like a frickin’ job. I know it is my job, but I don’t want to feel like I’m working all the time.

How do you take care of yourself?

Physically, I try to go to the gym three to five times a week. The emphasis is on try, because it’s hard, especially when you’re busy. I don’t do crazy weights or anything, I make sure I do a workout I enjoy, because it clears my mind. I’m very work-focused and the thing that helps my head most is lying down. I used to think, “You can’t just do nothing in the middle of the day, that’s terrible. Why aren’t you working?” But I had to separate my negative thoughts, so I can decompress. I tell myself things can wait, there’s no rush. I know I’m not doing tough manual labour, but sometimes my job takes an emotional toll and I need to listen to my body.

You’re an advocate for body positivity – what makes you feel confident?

You just have to feel it. There isn't one single thing you can do to make yourself feel body confident - you've got to love yourself and tell yourself you look good. I don’t work out to look at my body and think, “Yeah, well done, you made yourself look like that,” because I think that’s unhealthy. Working out is more of a reward for your body. We don’t give our bodies enough credit for what they do for us every day.

As the girls in the villa are saying, you back yourself?

I do, and you know what? I think I started that. I’m sure someone asked how I felt in the villa and I said, “I just back myself 100 per cent.” So, I love that they’re saying that.

Which of this year’s couples do you think will go the distance?

Maybe Dami and Indiyah. I’d like that because I think they’re the sweetest. I’m not sold on Jacques and Paige, and I think Luca has got too overbearing for Gemma.

Dami and Indiyah
Dami and Indiyah ©ITV ©©ITV

Who has been the biggest game player?

I thought Ekin-Su, but she just played the messiest game ever. I also noticed that Jay jumped ship when he was in the bottom three.

Which of this year’s boys would you have coupled up with?

I don’t know what I was thinking, going on Love Island, because they’re not my type of boys. I finally realised that, three years later. If I had to pick one, it would be Dami, because he’s fun, he’s chilled, he’s a nice person and he’s pretty. I like his nose piercings and the way he calls the other boys out if they do something wrong.

How is your love life at the moment?

I feel like I’ve forgotten my love life exists, because I’ve been so invested in writing about someone else’s romance in the book. Maybe now it’s published, I’ll get my own!

Do you still speak to Greg?

We speak on rare occasions, but we’re not, like, in touch. Not for any particular reason, we’ve just got our own lives, you know?

Do you think going on Love Island helped or hindered your love life?

Hindered it. It’s kind of hard to navigate dating now. I’m a bit like, “What do you mean we’re not standing around the fire pit choosing who to couple up with?” I’ve got to do real-life dating and it’s difficult. I’m not mad about it, because I’ve had the most amazing experiences and opportunities off the back of the show.

What kind of guy are you looking for?

Someone laid-back who’s got a great sense of humour, because I like to laugh 24/7. If I’m not laughing, I don’t know what I’m doing. Also, someone who understands my career. It’s important they understand I have to go to events and speak to people. I don’t know if I would date someone in the industry, so maybe that’s a tough ask. I’m so busy at the moment, I’m just not that bothered. Maybe when I turn 25, I’ll be more bothered, but right now I love my friends – they’re so important. I wouldn’t have lasted one week in the villa if I didn’t have my friends in there. Friendships are way more important than romantic relationships.

Until I Met You is published by Mills & Boon in paperback, eBook and audiobook on 7 July

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