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Belfast’s Matthew MacNabb makes his first appearance in the Love Island villa


Matthew MacNabb. Pic: ITV.

Matthew MacNabb. Pic: ITV.


Matthew MacNabb. Pic: ITV.

Belfast man Matthew MacNabb will be hoping to ruffle a few feathers in the Love Island villa as he made his first – very brief - appearance as part of the show’s Casa Amor twist.

Local fans of the ITV2 reality show will be glued to their television sets in the coming weeks as the strategic marketing consultant made his entrance to the villa as one of six new singletons on Sunday.

The 26-year-old was introduced as part of the Casa Amor twist fans of the series know and love.

Casa Amor is one of the most anticipated parts of any Love Island series, when the contestants are divided up and introduced to new faces, with their romantic loyalties put to the test.

Also joining at this stage of the series are Dubliners Salma Naran and Kaila Troy.

As well as the original cast of contestants, Love Island introduces new faces throughout the series to test the couples as they aim for the £50,000 grand prize.

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Sunday’s Love Island saw Lucinda Strafford and Aaron Francis being dumped from the villa as they received the least votes from the audience.

This paved the way for Matthew and the other new Love Islanders to be introduced to the viewers as their fellow contestants were still reeling from the loss of Lucinda and Aaron.

Matthew will have a better chance to appeal himself to the fans of the show, and the contestants, in Monday’s Love Island episode.

Announcing his appearance to his 3,300 followers on his Instagram page yesterday, Matthew was inundated with support as friends expressed their surprise at how well he had kept the news secret.

Ciara Kane wrote: “Well done McNabbs for the best kept secret. Good luck Matt. You’ll smash it.”

Emer Brannigan added: “Good luck Matthew”.

In a profile of Matthew on the RadioTimes website, he certainly talked a good game about his chances of succeeding in the villa, as he touched on his 6ft6’’ height as a way to compete with his rival contestants.

“I won’t have much of a problem with stepping on toes,” he said. “The guys haven’t known the girls that long so it’s not really a huge issue. I’m sure if they have a problem they’ll approach me.

"My family would describe me as very relaxed and laid back, positive and optimistic. And my friends would describe me as very adventurous and very positive."

Matthew is the co founder of the specialist marketing firm MCN. According to the company, he has an MBA qualification in business with a “focus on strategy and marketing”.

"We started a marketing consultancy at Christmas time and it took off really quickly,” he added.

"I originally did law as my undergraduate and I’ve worked in investment banking and I did a masters in business administration.

"I was working in California for a year and a half. I came back without a job and I started this company with some other marketing consultants."

Matthew isn’t the first contestant to appear on the ITV show from Northern Ireland, following in the footsteps of series two islander Adam Maxted from Belfast.

In 2016 Tyrone woman Sinead Hegarty also appeared on the show.

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