Love Island: What I wish I’d known before entering the villa

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionShaughna Phillips, Ched Uzor and Amy Hart have shared their tips and tricks about life in the villa

If you're a Love Island fan, you'll know we're T-minus three days away from launch.

From Monday we're guaranteed weeks of re-couplings, head-turns and eggs in plenty of baskets.

The contestants have been revealed and some of them will no doubt have a game plan for how to win the hearts of other islanders – and of the nation.

So what do former islanders wish they'd known before they stepped into the villa?

Get ready to graft

Shaughna Phillips, 27, graced our screens on series six in January 2020.

When watching Love Island from the comfort of her sofa, she assumed it would be "laying around the pool", but found that wasn't the case.

"I wish I knew it would be a bit more work," she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

"We always have lunch at a certain time, we only have an hour to get ready – where 12 girls cram into a small space. You have to stay up late to film end of the day summaries… it isn't as relaxing as it looks.

"That's all fine for me, but I wish I'd known more beforehand."

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A post shared by Shaughna Phillips (@shaughnaphillips)

The influencer also wishes she'd had a heads-up about the bathroom situation.

"There were only two toilets and at one point there were 20 of us in there."

Pack different pyjamas

When it came to packing, series five contestant Amy Hart wishes she had left a few toiletries at home.

There's "so much stuff in there", the 27-year-old says.

"You get eyelashes, shampoo, conditioner, perfume, make-up."

But, she regrets not taking skimpier pyjamas.

image copyrightITV/Shutterstockimage captionIt might look cosy, but Amy Hart says the beds near the air con actually gets pretty cold

"In the bedroom there's one lot of air con down one side of the bedroom. Molly Mae and Tommy had the bed under the air con, so Molly would sleep in a tracksuit, but I was on the other end of the bedroom, so if I slept in anything more than tiny shorts and a T-shirt I'd be sweltering."

"Your washing gets done once a week and you don't know when it's coming back, so I wish I'd packed more pants, cooler PJs and chilled out clothes."

Expect trolls

Ched Uzor, 24, appeared in the series after Amy.

He's been out of Love Island for almost two years, but still gets recognised.

"I went to the gym yesterday and people are screaming my name," he says.

"Sometimes I feel quite anxious because you feel you've got to look a certain way, but you get used to it."

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Ched, who used to be a scaffolder and is now a fitness coach, says contestants should have a career plan on the other side.

"Don't get lost in social media. Think about what you actually want to do for yourself, because as soon as a new series comes out, the new contestants get all that love," he says.

"The personal appearances won't last forever, so use money you get from them to build a business."

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Shaughna says social media is one of the hardest things to deal with once you come out of the villa.

"You can never prepare for nasty online comments. You can think you're prepared, but you're not."

But she says over time, you learn to "shrug off" the things trolls say.

"The best thing is that when you're in there, you're the biggest you'll be, and you're away from it [the comments], so when you're out, things start to die down."

Amy says don't be surprised if former contestants slide into your DMs… and not in that way.

"It's a real community of ex-islanders and they're all there for you when you come out."

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A post shared by Amy Hart (@amyhartxo)

Visit the therapist

This year ITV outlined new welfare measures for the contestants, including being taught how to handle social media and "comprehensive" psychological support – an upgrade on the "enhanced" support offered earlier.

Amy was a contestant in 2019 – the same year two former contestants, Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis took their own lives.

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionSophie and Mike were contestants in series two and three of Love Island

During that series ITV introduced on-site access to a therapist – a service Amy encourages contestants to use.

"I was very anti going to therapy in the villa at first, because I was so scared that if I went they'd think I wasn't fit to be in there, whereas it's perfectly fine to use a therapist," she says.

"I'd suggest building a bond [with the therapist] whilst everything is good so when things go wrong, that bond is there."

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Ched agrees with Amy.

"People think if you're doing therapy there must be something really wrong with you… no, there's not, you're just trying to better yourself."

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