Joey Essex is Love Island's oldest-ever contestant - but he's still looking for the 'love of his life'

Joey Essex left Love Island viewers baffled as he made an appearance as the very first bombshell of the series.

Known for starring in The Only Way is Essex, Joey waltzed into the villa during the very first episode on Monday 3 June leaving his fellow contestants and viewers at home completely floored - particularly when he revealed his age.

At 33, Joey is the oldest contestant to ever enter Love Island. Prior to Joey’s entrance the oldest was 31 years old - Marcel Somerville, Paul Knops and Jordan Ring.

With some participants being just 21, Joey is over 10 years their senior. But despite being on the more mature age side, Joey reveals he’s there to find love.

Joey Essex
Viewers were left shocked when Joey entered the villa -Credit:ITV

Joey told The Sun before entering the villa that he was hoping to find someone who liked him for him rather than the man they ‘see on TV’.

He also told the publication: “I’m extremely single right now, so 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.

“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."

Joey Essex
Joey Essex insists he's looking for 'love' in the villa -Credit:ITV

Some viewers were utterly baffled by Joey’s age and took to social media, they wrote: "I DONT KNOW WHATS MORE WEIRD, JOEY ESSEX BEING ON LOVE ISLAND OR HIM BEING 33.”

Another added: “How is Joey Essex the same age as me?! Like I’ve always thought he was about 10 years younger!”

Some still couldn’t believe Joey was back on their screens, another said: "Joey essex coming in as a bombshell in love island was not on my 2024 bingo card #loveIsland.”

Another added: "The only way is… Essex. The #LoveIsland Villa just got a bit more ‘reem’ as Joey Essex has arrived to find his future wife."

Joey Essex
Joey Essex has entered the villa -Credit:ITV

Joey is no stranger to trying to find love on television, he’s had public relationships on TOWIE. He’s also appeared on Celebs Go Dating twice, and starred on Celebrity Ex on the Beach.

Most recently, Joey was linked to his Dancing on Ice partner Vanessa Bauer. Before that he is said to have dated Brenda Santos, Lorena Medina, former Love Islander Ellie Brown, The Hills star Stephanie Pratt who he met whilst on Celebs Go Dating and he was engaged to TOWIE co-star Sam Faiers briefly in 2012.