'not ready' | 

Ekin-Su reveals she turned down Love Island job after Laura Whitmore quit

The reality show winner revealed she felt she ‘wasn’t ready’ to fill Laura’s shoes – but Maya Jama is ‘a good choice’

Ekin-Su with fellow Love Islander Davide

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu has revealed she was asked to take over as Love Island host when Laura Whitmore left, but turned it down.

The reality show winner told Pop Sugar that she wasn’t ready to re-enter the villa so soon.

"I would’ve loved to do it,” she said, “but I can’t at the minute because of how busy I am. And I said I’m not ready for it.”

Ekin-Su said she would want “proper training” before attempting to fill Laura’s shoes.

"I’ve done presenting before. but not to the level of Laura.”

The Dubliner stepped back from Love Island in August, admitting that “certain elements of the show” were too difficult to maintain.

Laura emphasised that she was “flying back and forth to South Africa along with my new conflicting project” and was no longer able to make the show work.

"I wish it was still possible but know you’ll be in safe hands,” the Irish star said. “I was only planning to fill in for Caroline for a series and it turned into 3 series.”

Ekin-Su was a fan favourite to take over hosting duties, with the role ultimately going to radio presenter Maya Jama.

The Love Island winner, who took home first place with Davide Sanclimenti in the recent series, said ITV “made a good choice with picking her.”

"She’s funny, intelligent, smart, beautiful,” Ekin told Popsugar.

The star, who won hearts for her confidence in the villa, also revealed her secret to braving the pressures of reality TV and life beyond.

"I think it comes from my mum and my childhood, having a hard upbringing, school, being bullied, being isolated from people, not being accepted in things," she said. "I had no friends, no one to talk to. It's really sad."

The star revealed she became her own friend, boosting her self-confidence with small practices that built her into reality star material: "I started to really talk to myself in the mirror.”

"I'd be like, 'Hey, how are you doing today? I'm a strong woman. I'm doing really well. Today, I'm going to be fine.'"

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