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Bizarre way Love Island producers snuck Joey Essex into the villa

Bizarre way Love Island producers snuck Joey Essex into the villa

Ex-TOWIE star Joey Essex was introduced as the 2024 series' first bombshell

Love Island fans are hoping that ITV producers have started as they mean to go on, after last night's premiere brought the jaw-dropping drama we've all been waiting for.

As well as the 12 fresh-faced love-hungry islanders that were announced last week - all of whom are entering the plush Mallorcan villa in a bid to bag 'the one' - the hit reality show's bosses also dropped another huge-name star into the line-up.

If you haven't yet had a chance to sink your teeth into the debut instalment which took to our screens last night (3 June), allow us to fill you in by revealing that none other than The Only Way Is Essex legend Joey Essex strutted into the villa, as a brand new addition to year's line-up.

The 33-year-old rocked up right before the closing credits appeared, with Love Island presenter Maya Jama welcoming him in as a bombshell.

And viewers - myself included - were left in total shock.

Taking to social media, one viewer penned: "IS THAT JOEY ESSEX?!?! #LoveIsland."

Another went on: "JOEY ESSEX?!?! ya good luck lads its looking rough now. might aswell start packing them suitcases back up #loveisland."

"JOEY ESSEX IS ON LOVE ISLAND WTF #LoveIsland," added a third, while a fourth continued: "Joey ESSEX???? Is this a JOKE??? #loveisland."

The islanders were in shock to see Joey Essex walk in. (ITV)
The islanders were in shock to see Joey Essex walk in. (ITV)

Following his shock entrance, another question that viewers have been dying to know is how producers managed to keep the TOWIE icon's appearance a secret from both the press and fans.

It turns out, though, that ITV leads were forced to go to extreme measures to keep talk of Joey under wraps.

While this year's line-up of islanders were all flown directly to the Balearic hotspot, Joey was reportedly transported across from Ibiza via a ferry.

According to the MailOnline, bosses took 'every precaution' to keep the signing hush hush.

And speaking about his voyage across the seas, Joey claimed the adventure made him feel like a member of the secret service.

"The name’s Essex, Joey Essex," he joked to The Sun. "It felt like a military operation, not even the journey itself but the process of even getting through the application and to this point.

Joey entered the villa as a bombshell last night (3 June). (ITV)
Joey entered the villa as a bombshell last night (3 June). (ITV)

"I got on the plane to Ibiza. I made sure I wore my mask when I went out for dinner and then we got the boat over to Majorca to a villa hidden in the mountains in the middle of nowhere."

Though it's not yet clear as to whether Joey will be forced to select a girl to steal from a male islander, he has lifted the lid on his intentions for the show.

"I just want someone to like me for me and now from what they see on TV," Joey claimed.

"This is exactly why I’m going into the villa because you’re disconnected from the rest of the world and can focus on what actually matters on a far deeper level."

He went on to tell The Sun that he's 'extremely single right now', and hopes to finally find that special someone.

"I’m praying that I’m going to walk out of the villa hand in hand with the love of my life, that’s my main aim and all I care about," Joey added.

"It’s difficult for me to meet girls on the outside as they judge me based on a persona, so I think this experience will allow for people to see the real me."

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: Celebrity, ITV, Love Island, TV And Film, Joey Essex