Love Island: Mal Nicol’s ‘Joey Essex lookalike’ boyfriend revealed

She failed to find love with Sammy Root in 2023

love island mal and joey essex

by Sarah O'Byrne |
Published on

While many Love Island contestants come and go without a trace, there are a few who, although their time was short, made an impression.

Zara McDermott launched an entire career after just 10 days in the villa back in Love Island 2018, and has gone on to appear on Made in Chelsea, Strictly Come Dancing, as well as multiple documentaries. Greg O’Shea was only in the villa for two weeks before being crowned the winner of Love Island 2019- although admittedly, this was mainly due to his iconic partner Amber Gill.

Love Island 2023’s Mal Nicol was iconic purely because that’s who she is, no partner needed.

Mal Nicol
Mal is an icon- end of story ©Ricky Vigil/GC

She swanned around that villa in 10/10 outfits for just one week before she was dumped from the island after a public vote - seriously, it must have been rigged, in what world was she not the public’s favourite? After her unforgettable ‘sexy’ cat dance? Granted, she did kiss Sammy Root who went on to win the crown with then-girlfriend Jess Harding but come on, don’t we all make mistakes?

She was truly ahead of her time on that series and we are officially starting the campaign to get her back in that villa for All Stars series two.

That is, until we saw that she’s completely loved up with her new man.

Her boyfriend, an investment banker who lived in Dubai before coming back to the UK, is eerily familiar, with more than a few people commenting on videos of the two saying he looks like a certain TOWIE turned Love Island 2024 star.

One fan wrote, “Why do I swear I know who he is?” with another simply writing, “That Joey Essex.

Although Mal hard-launched this boyfriend back in March, she rarely shows his full face which is why it took us months to make the Joey Essex connection.

While we’re thrilled that she’s happy and honestly, they look like a cute couple, we are still holding out hope for a second Love Island appearance, this time walking away with the crown she deserves.

And yes, we wrote this entire article as a love letter to Mal Nicol, try and stop us.

WATCH: 'It was traumatic, violent... scary' Mehdi and Mal spill the tea | Love Island Secrets

Sarah O'Byrne has been writing for Closer since the summer of 2023, but has been watching Love Island since day one so she considers herself something of an expert.

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