Zara McDermott On Being The First Love Island Contestant On Strictly Come Dancing: ‘Love Island Doesn’t Define Me’

The former reality star is set to battle it out for the glitter ball trophy.

zara mcdermott

by Aaliyah Harry |
Published on

Strictly Come Dancing is on the horizon and 15 celebrities are ready to take to the dance floor and battle it out for the glitter ball trophy. Presenter Zara McDermottis part of the 2023 line-up and is the first contestant from Love Islandto star on Strictly. Whilst some viewers are focusing on her stint on the ITV2 dating show, Zara believes that she shouldn't be defined by her reality TV past. She tells Grazia,'I did Love Island five years ago and I was only on the show for 10 or 11 days. So, as much as I'm not ashamed of being on Love Island - it doesn't define me now in my life.' She continues, 'I've been making documentaries for over a year now and I'm really proud of myself and the work that I do.'

Since starring on Love Island in 2018, Zara McDermott has since gone on to present her own BBC documentaries, including: Revenge Porn, Uncovering Rape Culture and Disordered Eating- based on her own emotional experiences. She explains, 'Through the documentaries I make, my job is to talk to people and make them feel comfortable and listen to really harrowing stories about things that have happened to them. Now, I'm in a position where I'm in front of the camera, and I'm the person that's got to be made to feel comfortable. Adding, 'So, the roles have kind of reversed a little bit.'

The presenter is also excited for a different audience to see a new side to her. She says, 'I've grown up and changed drastically since I was 21-years-old, before I completely lacked confidence. I've grown up into a woman now and it's amazing to be able to show that side of myself.'

On Hits Radio this week, Zara's boyfriend and former Made In Chelseastar Sam Thompsonexcitedly expressed his support for her Strictly journey. He said, 'I'm so excited to be along for the ride with Zara, I want to do TikTok dances with her partner and I've already got two dances in mind that I want to do.' He added,' I'm getting nervous - Zara, bless her, is getting nervous too.'

However, Zara painted a different picture of Sam's dancing skills. She tells Grazia, 'Sam's definitely not a dancer. He is incredibly supportive, and we've always been really supportive of each other.' She adds, 'However, this is my moment and this is something that I'm doing for me.'

Who are the pros for Strictly Come Dancing 2023?

The professional dancer lineup has been announced, with fan favourites Giovanni Pernice and Karen Hauer among some of the names returning. The judging panel remains the same with Craig Revel Horwood, Motsi Mabuse, Anton Du Beke, and head judge Shirley Ballas back for 2023. Claudia and Tess will continue their hosting duties, of course, while former contestant Fleur East will be joining Janette Manrara on It Takes Two following Rylan Clark’s departure from the show.

When does Strictly Come Dancing 2023 return?

The Strictly launch show will be on our screens Saturday 16 September 2023.

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