Love Island’s Ikenna Ekwonna has revealed the show’s contestants have known Gemma Owen’s dad is footballer Michael Owen since ‘the second or third day’ into the series.
The pharmaceutical salesman, 23, put speculation to rest while appearing on Sunday’s Aftersun, after he was voted out of the show by the public.
He told presenter Laura Whitmore: ‘We didn’t really know until the second or third day but I don’t think the girls knew the guys knew.’
Really? Love Island ‘s Ikenna Ekwonna has revealed the show’s contestants have known Gemma Owen’s dad is footballer Michael Owen since ‘the second or third day’ in
Gemma’s famous father has played for clubs including Liverpool and Real Madrid, as well as for the England national team, however she is yet to address it on screen.
Viewers have debated over whether her co-stars are in on the secret, with departing Islander Liam Llewellyn recently saying he ‘can’t believe’ he hadn’t worked it out.
Seemingly becoming the first islander to discover his identity, he could not conceal his surprise when he learned that Gemma has a very high profile father.
He’d said: ‘I can’t believe who that actually was. That’s mad. I’m a Newcastle United fan. I actually have one of his tops when he came to the club!’
Family: Gemma’s famous father has played for clubs including Liverpool and Real Madrid, as well as for the England national team, however she is yet to address it on screen
Michael, 42, played for the side between 2005 and 2009 before making the transfer to Manchester United.
Liam continued: ‘That first night, we were chatting about football and her family. I was so close. I can’t believe I didn’t quite work it out.’
Gemma has not announced her father’s identity on the ITV2 dating show, despite many fans clocking her hints.
Earlier in the series, viewers poked fun at the ‘Gen Z’ Love Island cast for apparently not knowing who Michael is after his daughter, Gemma, repeatedly ‘dropped hints’ about her link to the England star.
Laugh-out-loud: He told presenter Laura Whitmore: ‘We didn’t really know until the second or third day but I don’t think the girls knew the guys knew’
Fans suggested the 19-year-old was hoping for some attention from her fellow islanders for her famous father, but they failed to recognise her connection to the footballer, who retired in 2013.
Twitter users pointed out most Love Island contestants are in their early twenties, meaning their early teens coincided with the tail-end of Owen’s career when he was regularly kept on the bench.
Owen became England’s youngest ever goalscorer aged 18 in the 1998 World Cup and played at Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle, Manchester United and, finally, Stoke City.
He is now a pundit and last appeared on Saturday during Channel 4’s coverage of the England v Hungary game.
Shock: Viewers have debated over whether her co-stars are in on the secret, with departing Islander Liam Llewellyn recently saying he ‘can’t believe’ he hadn’t worked it out
Some Twitter users were confused as to why Love Island stars failed to cotton on to Gemma’s famous connection, with one writing, ‘How can they not know who Michael Owen is?’
But others pointed out their age, with four of the contestants 23, one 22 and two 24.
Daniel James wrote: ‘Gemma desperate to tell people her dad is Michael Owen. Darling, those people in there are too young to even know who Michael Owen is #LoveIsland2022
Another Twitter user added: ‘Aren’t these lot too young to know who Michael owen is anyway? He was def a star for millennials not so much gen z.’
Joking: Earlier in the series, viewers poked fun at the ‘Gen Z’ cast for apparently not knowing who Michael is after his daughter, Gemma, repeatedly ‘dropped hints’ about the link
During a discussion about names, Gemma mentioned her surname multiple times but none of her fellow Islanders noticed the connection.
Viewers were convinced Gemma was desperate to reveal her father’s identity with her name drop, while earlier in the episode she also offered hints about her link to football.
During her first chat with masters student Liam Lewellyn after they were matched by the public vote, international dressage rider Gemma discussed his career aspirations.
‘So what do you want to do?’ Gemma asked.
Talented: Owen became England’s youngest ever goalscorer aged 18 in 1998 and played at Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle, Manchester United and Stoke City (pictured in 2001)
Liam replied: ‘Going into sport performance, working with football teams, making sure they’re training the right way. Football’s my sport, I don’t play anymore but I used to.’
She asked, ‘Did you play at a decent level?’ to which he admitted: ”Nah not really, I stopped playing young.’
When she said, ‘Why?’ he suspiciously questioned ‘I feel like you’ve been with an ex-footballer or something?’
While she said no, he asked: ‘Why did you ask me if I played at a decent level then?’ to which she responded, ‘I’m interested.’
Gemma also didn’t waste any time hinting at her famous father in her video intro.
Although she didn’t use his name she said competitiveness ‘is in my blood’ before telling the camera her father ‘has an opinion’ on the men she dates.
The dressage champion said she’s hoping to score in the villa, that would be the goal’ cheekily adding of her puns: ‘See what I did there’.
Viewers shared a slew of memes on Twitter joking about Gemma’s apparent keenness for fellow contestants to pick up on her name – only for them to fail to pick up the hints.
LOVE ISLAND 2022: MEET THE CONTESTANTS
Name: Paige Thorne
Who is their type on paper? ‘In Swansea there is just no-one I can find.
‘I haven’t got to swipe. So, hopefully they can just come to me now!
‘I came out of a relationship and I was just so done with guys. Then I was like, ‘Ok, I’m bored now’
Name: Indiyah Polack
Occupation: Hotel waitress
Who is their type on paper? ‘It’s quite hard to date without being influenced by social media and stuff like that.
‘Love Island is a great place to get to know someone one-on-one.
‘I don’t think I have ever been out with two guys who are quite the same.’
Name: Tasha Ghouri
Occupation: Model and dancer
Who is their type on paper? ‘My dating life has been a shambles.
‘This is an opportunity for me to find ‘the one’ and have a great summer at the same time.
‘I’m definitely ready for a relationship. I’m 23 now so I’m ready to get to know someone and travel with them.’
Name: Gemma Owen
Occupation: International Dressage Rider and Business Owner
Who is their type on paper? ‘I am open to finding love, I’m wanting to have a really fun summer.
‘I would say I’m fun, flirty and fiery. I think I’m good at giving advice, I’m a good person to talk to, I’m very honest.
‘If I want the same guy, I’d do it but in a nice respectful way.
Andrew Le Page
Name: Andrew Le Page
Occupation: Real Estate Agent
Who is their type on paper? ‘When I’m with someone I’m very loyal.
‘I’m a good boyfriend as when I’m with someone I’m all for them.
‘I’m actually single for once, so I thought why not?
This is the best time to give it a go.’
Name: Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu
Who is their type on paper? ‘I’m quite picky and I’m not just looking for looks, I’m looking for brains!
‘I’m looking for someone with intelligence, someone who can have good chats. Nothing like cockiness!’
Name: Jay Younger
Occupation: Investment analyst
Who is their type on paper? ‘I am a slow burner for sure, yeah. I don’t fall easily.
‘I quite like self sufficiency in girls.’
Name: Dami Hope
Occupation: Senior Microbiologist
Who is their type on paper? ‘I will be talking to different girls, it might not go well with some.
‘When I’m actually in a relationship, I think it’s a star sign thing.
‘I’m an Aries but I’m very passionate – I always used to put that person first. I’m really good at being in a team’.
Name: Davide Sanclimenti
Location: Rome (lives in Manchester)
Occupation: Business owner
Who is their type on paper? ‘A lot of English girls actually love me.
‘They love to be around me and I love to be around them. I want to find my soulmate.
‘Find my person so I can actually build something in the future, grow with them, be a family. ‘
Name: Luca Bish
Who is their type on paper? ‘I prefer to meet girls out and about. I think when you go looking for it, it’s not as easy though, it’s like you’re too desperate for it.
‘If I think you’re the one or I like you, I’ll take you out on a date but other than that, if we talk and I don’t like where it’s going – then I won’t be throwing out dates.’
Name: Jacques O’Neill
Occupation: Rugby League Player
Who is their type on paper? ‘I think it needs to be the right person, at the right time.
‘I was saying to my mum the other day that I want a girl. And I’m now ready to settle down.’
Name: Antigoni Buxton
Why Love Island? I’ve been single for almost a year and a half and for the whole of the last year my goal has been to have as many different experiences as possible.
‘I really just want to say ‘yes’ to things. Why not? It’ll be fun.’
Name: Danica Taylor
Who is their type on paper? ‘I am the type of girlfriend that I want to do so much with you – deep conversations, silly activities.
‘If you say let’s go canoeing all day even though I am quite a glam girl, I am down for it.’
Name: Charlie Radnedge
Occupation: Real estate developer
Why do you think you’re a catch? ‘I am probably slightly more mature than some other people in the Villa. I’ve got some things figured out. I think I’m ready to settle down, basically.’