Linford Christie’s niece, a Playboy Bunny and former footballer among Love Island contestants

Twelve contestants are heading to Mallorca to look for love, with host Caroline Flack guiding us through the sun-drenched antics

Love Island returns this Sunday night and while this year’s contestants aren’t billed as celebrities, plenty have their own claims to “fame”. Among the batch of love-seekers are a Playboy Bunny, Linford Chrisite’s niece and a former footballer who’s recently returned from playing in Sweden.

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Twelve contestants will hole up in a villa in Mallorca, the idea being that they find love under the baking sun. If they can avoid the public vote off that is. Oh yes, we get to mix things up from the comfort of our own sofas. Host Caroline Flack will be there to guide us through what they’re getting up to, admitting she hopes the show leads to weddings and eventually babies. “I definitely think that’s possible,” she said, teasing that the show will be “romantic, saucy… and addictive.”

Among the batch of Love Islanders is sports star Linford Christie’s niece Rachel.

The 26-year-old is a single mum, former athlete (Linford himself trained her) and model. In 2009 Rachel was the first mixed race woman to win the title of Miss England. Amid allegations of assault, Rachel relinquished her crown, but all action against her was later dropped. Rachel’s dating history includes a relationship with former Sky1 Gladiator star David McIntosh, with whom she had her son. Of the kind of man Rachel’s hoping to find on the island she said: “His personality has to be on point. I’ve got to find out if they’re a family man. I tell me straight away that I’m a mum. Appearance-wise they have to look good, but I’ve learned that’s not everything. I’d like him to be tall, athletic, not with big muscles but he should work out.” Got that guys?

Also heading to Love Island is Lauren Richardson who found herself at the centre of a Twitter storm after she was pictured earlier this year with former One Direction band mate Zayn Malik in Thailand.

“I met Zayn Malik in a nightclub in Thailand,” Lauren explained. “It got blown out of proportion. But that’s a long story…” she teased, suggesting we may hear the rest of the tale while she seeks new love. Of an ideal beau, Lauren’s mainly looking for a good sense of humour. “If he can make me laugh, I’ll be eating out of the palm of his hand.”

Playboy Bunny Hannah Elizabeth also joins the ranks.

The 25-year-old hails from Liverpool and appears on Sky Sports’ coverage of boxing matches, as well as spending time at Hugh Heffner’s mansion. Hannah says she likes a “suave” looking man and admits she doesn’t go for the cocky member of a group. “I’ll go for the quiet one who is funny. My main thing is, you’ve got to be able to make me howl or I’m just not interested.” The wannabe comedians among the lads sure look like they’ll be popular then. 

Perhaps former footballer Luis Morrison will be able to provide the laughs, describing himself as “witty, confident and driven.”

Luis has recently returned from living in Sweden where he played for Umeå FC. Luis is looking for a “Kim Kardashian type of girl” and says he’s planning to use his “natural charm” rather than chat up lines. “I’m quite confident with girls. I’ll try and play the field a little bit on Love Island. Test the water a little bit.”

I think this series is going to need popcorn. Lots and lots of popcorn.  

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Love Island starts Sunday at 9:00pm on ITV2