Lancashire's Kendall Rae Knight hopes Love Island is only the start of a new career
Kendall Rae Knight was only in Love Island for six days - but she is hoping its glow will help her kickstart her modelling career.
The 26-year-old former Miss Blackpool winner will join the other contestants for a ‘wrap party’ in London this week after the hit ITV2 show finished on Monday night.
Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham were crowned winners of the fourth series of the dating show after they were coupled up since the first episode.
The show pitches single men and women together to find love in a Majorcan villa, with viewers voting for their favourite couple.
And Kendall, who was the first person to leave the show, says her appearance on the show has opened up new doors.
Kendall, who quit her job as assistant manager at Clark’s on Clifton Retail Park before the show, said: “It has been non-stop since coming out of the show.
“I’ve only been back to Blackpool five or six times since I came back from the island. doing modelling work, promotional work, TV appearances and PAs.
“It seems everyone is crazy about Love Island.
“We were all given the choice of going back to work and back to our normal lives but I want to make the most of it.
“I’ve done some modelling jobs this week and there’s going to be a big get together for the wrap party on Sunday, it will be great to see everyone again.
“I’m really thankful for my time in there. I did wonder if people were going to remember because I was only in for six days.
“But it has done wonders for me - if I had to go back to work I would have done as I loved my life before but this has opened up so many wonderful opportunities for me and I’m going to try to grasp them.”
Kendall watched Monday night’s final with her fellow contestants, including Sam Bird and Georgia Steel, at a party in London and was rooting for her pal Laura Anderson, who came second with her partner Paul Knops.
Kendall, whose family live in Newton-with-Scales, said: “It was a lovely finale and the speeches were so cute. I was really hoping Laura would win - I was close to her in the house and I think everyone was rooting for her as an individual. Paul is lovely but she’s not had much luck in their before he arrived so I think people took her to their hearts.
“But it was obvious Jack and Dani were going to win. They’ve been the closest from day one and I think they will have their own show soon. That said, I thought Josh and Kaz had the best connection, they seemed so into each other, the way they kissed.”
She was pictured with 2017 Love Island winner Kem Cetinay at Notarianni’s in Blackpool recently - but is she still looking for love?
“Kem is just a friend,” she laughed. “But I went into Love Island to find love and it didn’t happen for me. But I still want to settle down with somebody, I’m sure it will happen.”
On her former fiancee Michael Clarke
Kendall had been with her ex-fiancee for five years when she was dumped just three months after he proposed to her.
Has she spoken to him since?
“Michael and I had a chat when I came out of the Love Island house. It was just to say there was no hard feelings. I didn’t say anything bad about him and he was OK. My family were just a bit worried that he may have thought we had bad-mouthed him but he knew we hadn’t.”
What she thinks of Adam
Kendall left the house after ‘love rat’ Adam Collard chose new contestant Rosie Williams over her.
She later told a tabloid that “any girl with half a brain cell wouldn’t go near him.”
But she says she has no hard feelings - and has seen him since he left the show too.
“It wasn’t difficult at all when I saw him. He was with Zara who he later coupled up with. I hope it will last between them for her sake and his head doesn’t get turned!”
Record breaking ratings
The Love Island final broke a record for ITV2, becoming the channel’s most-watched programme ever.
An average of 3.6 million viewers tuned in, according to overnight ratings.
The extended episode of the programme, which aired from 9pm until 10.40pm, peaked with an audience of 4.1 million.
ITV said it marked the biggest audience ever for an ITV2 programme, and that it was the most-watched show in its timeslot across all channels.
This series of Love Island has averaged 2.7 million viewers in the overnight ratings, an increase of one million from last year.
The true reality for Love Island winners?
Here is a look at how the three previous couples to win Love Island have fared.
Jess Hayes and Max Morley
Max and Jess were the first couple to win the show when it was revived in 2015, nine years after its predecessor, Celebrity Love Island, was axed.
Both forged careers on social media after the final, with Jess’s Instagram profile, followed by 320,000 people, describing her as a fashion and beauty influencer.
Former cricketer Max found work as a model after the show and appeared on another ITV reality programme, Ex On The Beach, in 2017.
On the romance front, things were less successful. Six weeks after walking away with the £50,000 prize money the couple split.
Both appeared to have moved on though, with Jess sharing a picture of herself with her new partner ahead of this year’s final.
Max shared a photo of himself with his new love on holiday as he sent her a birthday message on Instagram in June.
Cally Jane Beech and Luis Morrison, who also appeared in the first series, became the first couple from the show to have a baby together.
Cara de La Hoyde and Nathan Massey
2016 winners Cara and Nathan brushed off marriage talk during their first interview after the show with ITV’s Lorraine Kelly.
But in December 2017 they took their relationship to another level when they welcomed their first child together, son Freddie-George.
Nathan shared the news on Instagram with a selfie in front of Cara, who appeared to be in labour.
The couple announced they were expecting a baby just two weeks after separating, but reunited weeks before the birth.
The young family made a guest appearance on The Only Way Is Essex in May.
Amber Davies and Kem Cetinay
The winners from last year, Amber and Kem, the first couple to have sex on the programme, announced their split in December 2017 in a joint statement.
Post-villa, Amber landed a lucrative contract with fashion label Motel, and has presented on programmes including Good Morning Britain.
Kem appeared on Dancing On Ice, had his own spin-off show with fellow Love Island star Chris Hughes, and released a rap single.
Offering frank advice to the latest winning pair, Amber told The Sun: “Kem and I realised we weren’t meant to be after just one week of the series ending.
“But I thought by splitting up I was going to break the nation’s hearts and he felt the same.”
She added: “Jack and Dani will know right away too. Their relationship will either become exhausting or a success story.”
Proud dad moment for Danny Dyer
Danny Dyer has congratulated his daughter after she was named the winner of Love Island.
Dani Dyer, 22, was crowned the winner along with her boyfriend, Jack Fincham.
The pair had been the bookmakers’ favourites from early on and walked away with a cheque for £50,000.
Dani’s EastEnders actor father posted a short clip to his Instagram story congratulating her on the win.
Standing next to his wife and Dani’s mother, Joanne Mas, Dyer said: “Dan, you have done it! We cannot wait, we are coming to see you.”
They are currently in the US.
Does reality TV impact on body image?
More than half of 18 to 34-year-olds feel that reality TV and social media have a negative effect on how they see their bodies, a survey has found.
The ComRes survey of 2,000 British adults for BBC 5 Live also suggested that younger people were more likely to consider having cosmetic surgery.
Some 35 per cent of people said shows such as Love Island and The Only Way is Essex were responsible.
This figure rose to 55 per cent in the 18 to 34-year-old age group.