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He may not have taken home the £50,000 cash prize, but Toby Aromalran is this year’s real winner of Love Island.
Having started his journey as one of the villa’s biggest villains (in part due to his constant partner-swapping and bed-hopping), public perception changed around him when we learned to accept the 22-year-old for who he is.
After finally realising girlfriend Chloe Burrows was “the one”, he stormed into second place as a viewers’ firm favourite.
And now, we can expect to see a lot more of Toby, with the semi-pro footballer having been announced as boohooMan’s latest brand ambassador – seeing him stand alongside the likes of James Maddison, Dele Alli and Jack Grealish,
“It’s basically a dream,” he tells Tyla over Zoom, his cheeky grin lighting up the screen. “For them to work with me is so crazy, and it’s made me so happy.”
Even the most die-hard Love Island fan wouldn’t have guessed that Toby would end up landing the brand deals.
Having initially been paired up with Kaz Kamwi, Toby was public enemy number one when he pied her off for Chloe – the pair sneaking a smooch on the balcony just 10 minutes after he split with Kaz.
Just days later, Toby’s head was turned again by Abigail Rawlings, before he gave himself a horny case of whiplash and had his sights set on Casa Amor’s Mary Bedford.
And then suddenly, his head did a full “560 degree” turn (to quote Tommy Fury) and chose to settle down with Chloe – leaving viewers so baffled by his thought process, we had no choice but to fall in love with him.
But Toby had no qualms about repeatedly changing his mind on the show.
“When I went into Love Island, I only had one goal, and that was to find someone,” he explains.” I wanted to use the opportunity, because you're only in the villa once. I was like, okay, cool, I'm not just going to settle here and coast through the experience. People could do that, it's so easy just to coast and stay there. But I was like, no, I actually want to try and find someone. I want to do this properly.
“It didn’t matter if I looked bad because at least I could say I was true to myself and I found someone. So I'm happy with everything that I've done because at the end, I've found someone that I've gone outside the villa with who's become my girlfriend.
“You can’t get too bogged down with comments. You just have to embrace your mistakes. As long as you know you, and your partner knows who you are, that’s the only thing that matters really.”
That’s not to say that Toby wasn’t taken aback by the reaction his family got while he was in the villa.
His social media profiles got littered with nasty DMs during the first half of his tenure in the villa.
“I actually haven’t watched the show back, but my friends told me that things started off really badly,” Toby says. “There were nasty DMs but eventually, most of them came round a few weeks later and apologised for the message because they now liked me.
“It was hard for me to come across well in there, because no-one knows you. People form opinions on you after six episodes, but they don’t really know you.
“When it got to later in the show, people were like… oh, I get this person now because I know how they think and I’ve watched him for a prolonged series of time.
“I didn’t really care what was happening, because eventually people saw me for me.”
Now, Toby is just enjoying seeing things develop with Chloe, with the pair jokingly spend their first date outside the villa at a play area.
The pair are now considering moving in together, and are looking at flats in Essex to make their new base.
“It was hard coming out the villa and having to quarantine away from each other,” Toby explains. “It was the longest time we’ve been apart, even longer than Casa Amor.
“But I’m so happy we’ve been spending time together. My family all love Chloe and they’ve been really supportive. We’re not too serious together, and I’m really drawn to that.”
So what’s next for Toby now he’s bagged the dream girl and the dream job? Well, he’s coy about that.
“I’d love to do Dancing on Ice!” he laughs. “But anything that comes next is a bonus. I feel like I’m conquering dreams and completing bucket lists at the moment.
“I just can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.”
Toby Aromolaran is a new brand ambassador for boohooMAN. His collection is able to view here.
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