Love Island’s Sherif Lanre reveals surprising new job four years after villa axe

Sherif was booted from the villa in 2019 following an incident with Molly-Mae Hague

Love Island 2019 contestant Sherif Lanre

by Hannah Mellin |
Updated on

Love Island star Sherif Lanre made history in 2019 when he was the first – and to this day, only – man to be removed from the villa following an incident with Molly-Mae Hague.

In the four years since then, Sherif has kept a pretty low profile after leaving the world of showbiz and reality TV behind to return to his pre-villa job as a semi-pro rugby player.

The series five Islander recently opened up about his career as he revealed he’d been given a MAJOR opportunity.

love island sherif lanre
sherif in the villa ©ITV2

“I've been selected for the Nigerian rugby team,” he told The Sun.

“I've been training with them for the African Nations Championship and for the Olympic trials."

When he’s not playing rugby, Sherif works as fine dining chef and had admitted that Love Island fans are often “shocked” to see him in the kitchen.

He told the publication, “I just try to see the funny side of it all and not make a big deal about it.

“I currently work at a company called Rocket Food doing fine dining for private events, which I'm enjoying. It's refined and great food. It's much better than working in a commercial kitchen with tickets coming at you from everywhere and dealing directly with customers.”

So, why was Sherif Lane removed from Love Island?

Sherif's time on the Love Island came to an abrupt end when he was booted off the show in 2019 following an incident with Molly-Mae.

While many Islanders of the past have left the show early, there has only been two who have been removed by show bosses - Malia Arkian following a fight with Kady McDermott in 2016 and Sherif.

At the time, show bosses released a statement confirming Sherif's removal, and he himself then released a statement, that read, "In a case of poor judgement, I broke the villa rules and as a result agreed with the producers that it was best for me to leave the villa."

The event was shrouded in mystery and it was only a week later that the nation found out why he had to go when Sherif finally revealed that he was booted off the show after accidentally kicking fellow contestant Molly-Mae in the groin during a play fight and then jokingly referring to it as a "c--t punt".

love island sherif
sherif only lasted nine days ©ITV

The next day, the show’s directors woke him up before everyone else and told him he had to leave. It was a decision from higher ups, they said, and he had to get out of the villa without packing his bags or saying goodbye to the other contestants.

However, Sherif's co-star and 2019 winner Amber Gill shed more light on the incident with Molly-Mae and provided some more details a few years later.

Speaking on Murad Merali's podcast in May 2022, Amber revealed, "I was so shocked because I wasn't there when that event happened. I was confused, I'm still confused to what actually happened. I was devastated because I really grew close to Sherif."

love island amber gill
amber has opened up about sherif's shock exit ©ITV

She continued, "It was such a waste, he had such a fun personality that nobody got to witness. From what I hear it wasn't that bad. But I wasn't there, I think it happened in the bathroom upstairs, but I missed it all.

"I wish I had seen it because then I would have been able to judge it for what it was."

What has Sherif Lane said about his time on Love Island?

As well as removing all references to Love Island on his Instagram page, Sherif hit out at the show in 2021 when he accused the show of having double standards after failing to axe contestant Danny Bibby after his racist comments were unearthed.

Speaking on Victoria Derbyshire, Sherif said he felt the show had unconscious bias around the regulations for boys and girls, and maybe different races.

He also told the earlier publication, "ITV have shown complete double standards when it comes to racism. They don’t seem to care.

"A white guy has been allowed to apologise from inside the villa for using the N-word and carry on filming, whereas I was removed for play fighting and doing something by accident."

The former reality star continued, "The N-word shouldn’t be used and this contestant should be removed from the house like I was, especially after the England football team were racially abused this week. ITV needs to set an example.

"I think Love Island have milked this racism scandal to gain more exposure as people aren’t watching this series."

Sherif also criticised Love Island’s response to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.

The 20-year-old reposted the show’s statement on his Instagram story and wrote, "@ITV2 @LoveIsland is everything alright at home?

"Y’all racist as hell, black people have only ever been fashion to you and the only reason you’ve even included us on the last two seasons is to fill a ‘quota’ to look politically correct."

Does Sherif Lanre have Instagram?

Yes, Sherif does have Instagram. You can follow Sherif over on @sherif_lanre.

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