Interesting fact: Rachel is a former competitive athlete and niece of Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie.
Why Love Island? “I’ve been looking for something to do for a while now because I’m a full-time single mum [Rachel has a 4-year-old son Logan]. That can get tiring, even though I love him to bits. I was looking for work online and then this popped up and I thought ‘that’s quite interesting’. I filled in the application, waited for months to hear anything, and then when it came up again I thought, ‘I really want to do it.’”
Are you looking for love on the show? “It’s such a big thing, isn’t it, love? You’re not going to find love in however long, you might only be there a week. Just a connection with someone, someone I can get along with. Come out and still be friends and maybe that will develop from there.”
Is it hard dating as a single mum? “I can’t go out, I don’t do anything. I’m just at home all the time watching CBeebies. I haven’t had any dates, [it’s] really boring. I’m like a nun, I don’t do anything, I’m like a hermit.”
On being away from her son, who’s staying with her mum: “I can have contact with him for the week that we’re on lockdown [before the series starts], but apart from that I won’t have any contact. I’m so confident in my mum anyway, but it’s just my mind now, to train it not to miss him, or not put the emotions into it. I’ve psyched myself up for it. I’m in a good place with my head. I’m not missing him so much where I want to cry and go home. He’s four now, he understands. He knows I’m going to be on TV. He knows I’ve got on a plane and gone abroad. It’s not as if he’s a baby and he needs breastfeeding or something.”
On her ex – former Gladiator David McIntosh – and his relationship with their son: “I’m focusing on being the full-time mum that I am and doing things on my own. No, no [he’s not in touch]. No, he doesn’t see Logan. I’ve just accepted things the way they are.
“I really don’t care much about him at all. When you have a child it takes up all of your time, all of your energy, all of your brain space. I just don’t have the time of day for him, especially when I’m doing everything on my own. I just don’t care about him at all.”
On how he’ll react to her being on the show: “He wouldn’t want to [say anything about me] but if he does, so be it. I don’t care about him, I don’t care about his opinions, I think people are starting to get the gist of what he’s like now, the real David, so whatever he says doesn’t bother me in the slightest.”
On being a parent and meeting men: “Straight away that’s the first thing they need to know before they know my age and my name. Then you know if they really like you.”
On the freedom of being on the show: “I’m going to go crazy, just wild. Not too crazy, obviously. There are no barriers, apart from having sex with people – I won’t do that. I say I wouldn’t… No I wouldn’t, that sounds disgusting. I’d probably throw up or something, just the thought of it.”
Worst idea of a date: “Just sitting in front of someone with a plate of food. It’s so dated. I’d rather go jet skiing or go to a theme park. Just being active.”
On being on camera: “I’m not going to go in there and be fake because I just can’t do that. I’d look stupid, like an alien or something. I don’t think I’m going to be aware of the cameras or anything.”
On the competition: “I don’t want to be first out, but if I was second or third that would be ok. The first one to leave is the worst time.”