Love Island's Eyal Booker says he wants to do charity after leaving the show

The former JFS pupil says his Jewishness motivates him to help others


Eyal Booker has not stopped since he was voted off Love Island and thrust into the world of celebrity.

But he has told the JC the thing he wants to do the most since leaving the the hit reality ITV2 series' Majorcan villa is get involved in charity work.

The 22-year-old, who was the first Jewish contestant on the show, spoke to the JC for 20 minutes on a lunch break between radio interviews to share what he has been up to since leaving the series last week.  

“I’ve been getting involved in charity,” he says while eating a bagel from Panzer’s Deli, in St John's Wood, north west London, where he lives with his two brothers and dog Benji.

He joined a host of other celebrities on Wednesday in an attempt to break the world record for the largest singalong performance as part of NHS Singalong Live, which was broadcast on ITV.

“I’ve been really busy. I haven’t stopped,” he says. “Because I was one of the original contestants in the show (others joined the show midway through the series) everyone wants to talk to me about what I think of the people in there.

“I have also been doing a bit of modelling, but mostly what I want to do is get involved with a children’s charity and raise awareness about something.”

The former JFS pupil, who also attended Sylvia Young Theatre School, says his desire to do charity is partly inspired by being Jewish.

“It is definitely part of it,” he says. “I’ve been involved with Jewish charities like Langdon before. They are amazing.

"I want to do some work with a children’s charity. I'm not sure which one yet, and maybe a dogs charity because I love dogs.”

He says it is important to support causes outside the Jewish community.

“As much as I am Jewish and I hold that very close to my heart. I want to help everybody. I don’t want to discriminate.”

The Love Island contestants live under the constant eye of the cameras, and have to couple up to avoid being eliminated.

At the end of the series viewers will vote for their favourite couple to win a £50,000 prize.

Mr Booker says his family enjoyed watching him on the show, despite the fact he had sex in the villa with fellow islander Megan Barton Hanson.

Before he went on the show, he confessed to being nervous about his family watching him.

His Israeli mum Michal was shocked when she discovered he was going into the show.

But he says now: “I’m from a very real family. We are realists and, as long as I am being true to myself, they are happy. They were proud of me."

Mr Booker said his family found it hard to watch as the girls he matched with rejected him.

His first match, Hayley Hughes, a model from Liverpool, kissed him but then told fellow contestants that he made her “belly feel sick” while Ms Hanson dumped Mr Booker, saying he was not “fun.”

“Of course that was hard for (my family)," Mr Booker tells the JC. "But I don’t regret anything, my experience in there was incredible and I learnt a lesson from everyone I was with.

"I learnt not to chase so hard with Megan but I still think I made the right decisions."

Even his grandmother, who "loves reading the JC", kept up to date with his journey in the show. 

And despite it not making it into the broadcast, he discussed his Jewish and Israeli identity with his fellow contestants.

“Of course it is very much part of who I am, and we talked about our backgrounds and our values.

“They were all very interested in it, in the same way that I was interested in them, but that doesn’t make the show. It is not about that,” he says.

He defended the behaviour of contestant Adam Collard, who came under fire for the way he treated fellow islander Rosie Williams.

Women’s Aid issued a warning about manipulative behaviour after Mr Collard dumped Ms Williams, and smirked in her face as she broke down in tears.

But Mr Booker says: “I don’t think Adam did anything wrong. I lived with him. He was a nice guy.”

Mr Booker, who grew up in Bushey, Hertfordshire, was a model and member of moderately successful boyband EverYoung before his Love Island fame. 

He auditioned after ITV2 contacted him via Instagram, where his following has gone from 50,000 to 651,000 now.

“I believe you have to take every opportunity available to you whenever it presents,” he says.

“I went through the audition process open to the opportunity and I took it when it came with both hands.”

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