GEMMA Owen has suggested she didn’t exactly go on Love Island to find, erm, love – saying she did it because she failed to get into a dressage contest.
The daughter of footie ace Michael Owen said she signed up to the ITV2 dating show after it became clear that she would not qualify for this year’s European dressage championships.
Gemma, 19, who split from 23-year-old boyfriend Luca Bish last month, admitted she was hoping to land new work opportunities off the back of the show.
“There can be a stigma when you do a show like Love Island,” she told The Times.
“But there are amazing opportunities too if you can just be yourself.
“I wanted to do it, but only if I could just be me: plain-spoken and real. I am good at not showing my feelings if I have to.”
The teen has since confirmed she’ll lift the lid on her Love Island fame in a new reality show with her dad Michael.
Gemma is in advanced talks to film an at-home-with-the-Owens reality show in the UK next year.
The Owens show will likely follow the teenage businesswoman training for international dressage competition.
Gemma said: “I got to watch up close how my dad handled things when football finished.
“Normal and grounded is good. Success can quickly change or fade. Family, friends and, for me, horses, are for ever.”
Gemma finished second in the Love Island final alongside her boyfriend Luca Bish.
The pair split in November, with insiders blaming the 200-mile distance between their homes.
They had been splitting their time between Brighton, where Luca lives, and north Wales where Gemma lives with her family in a £50million mansion.
But despite initially discussing moving in together it eventually became too much.
A source said: “Gemma and Luca went from living together for weeks on Love Island and seeing each other every day, to being hundreds of miles apart.
“It would put any relationship under strain. In the end it just became too difficult. They did discuss moving in together, but Gemma isn’t at a stage in her life where she really wants to move away from north Wales. She loves it there and Luca also loves his life in Brighton.
“It’s sad but they’ve parted on really good terms and they will definitely be keeping in touch and staying friends.
“Gemma’s family, including Michael, really liked Luca and are sad that things didn’t work out but they’ve rallied round to support Gem.
“It’s likely they will all go abroad for Christmas which is something Gemma is looking forward to. It will give her the chance to reset and look forward to 2023 because she has big plans.
“She wants to develop her fashion and clothing line, and there is also interest from TV producers about programmes.
“Love Island has opened so many doors for Gemma and she doesn’t regret going on. Not least because she met Luca who she had an amazing few months with and who she made memories with that she will always cherish.”